Rough first innings for Taijuan Walker and Josiah Gray made it a not so great Sunday Funday in the matchup between melanated mound marauders.
The game between the New York Mets and Washington Nationals brought us the first career matchup between 2021 All-Star Taijuan Walker and former Dodgers top prospect Josiah Gray.
Gray took the mound first for the home team Nationals, and sadly it became clear before the first out was even recorded that we would not be witnessing a pitchers duel.
— New York Mets (@Mets) September 5, 2021
He allowed the first three Mets to reach base before giving up a two-run single. The score was 4-0 in favor of New York before Gray would even record the first out.
Gray would also give up home runs in both the second and third innings as he only lasted three innings allowing seven hits, six earned runs and striking out two on 87 pitches.
“They came out attacking early, and then coupled with my command not being there, not being great tonight, that was the result tonight,” said Gray who struggled for his second start in a row.
Gray is going to have to take his lumps and get acclimated to the Bigs during the final month of his 2021 season.
He had six consecutive starts pitching at least five innings before that streak was snapped in last Monday’s start against the Phillies. The young hurler only lasted four innings and gave up seven runs — six of which were earned— and struck out four.
After going through a few post All-Star Game struggles, “Fly High” Taijuan Walker seemed to be rounding his way back into form after a successful August. However, his first start of September showed otherwise.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) September 5, 2021
He gave up a leadoff home run on a 3-1 pitch. Then, later on that inning Walker would give up a two-run home run to #HighFive member Josh Bell which cut the lead to 4-3.
Bell would finish the game 1-for-2 at the plate drawing two walks and collecting two RBI. Over his last seven games the switch hitting first baseman has a .308 average, a .419 on base percentage, three RBI and five walks.
Walker would settle down as he held the Nats off the scoreboard through four innings but would give up three runs in the fifth inning, including four singles, a wild pitch, and a walk to Josh Bell.
Walker lasted 4.1 innings, giving up the two home runs, striking out six batters and giving up six hits and six runs.
The Mets would end up winning the game 13-6 and took three out of four games against the Nationals.
This recent burst has elevated the Mets to just 3.5 games back of the second National League wild card spot, but time is running out.
Both Walker and Gray will look to bounce back during their starts next weekend.
Gray will lead his Nationals into Pittsburgh for a game against the Pirates while Walker will get another taste of the Subway Series as his Mets take on the Yankees.