Tuesday night’s matchup between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals was supposed to be a regular opportunity to watch MLBbro’s Mookie Betts and Josiah Gray face off in the nation’s capital. Unfortunately, especially in the wake of the Tim Anderson/Josh Donaldson incident over the weekend, we ended up with much more.
The game itself was an exciting contest; at least until the second inning. After both teams combined to score five runs in the first, the Dodgers proceeded to score five more of their own over the next two innings. Betts alone was responsible for all three runs the Dodgers scored after he parked this 2-1 pitch from Gray into the left field seats for his first homerun of the night.
Betts finished the game 3-for-4 with two home runs, four RBI and a walk – a continuation of his latest hot streak. Mookie has been scorching, and his manager has taken notice.
“Over the last 30 days, it’s as good as anybody on the planet right now,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “It’s as good as I’ve seen him. He’s scoring runs at a crazy clip. He’s on base. He’s slugging at a ridiculous clip, too, and he’s playing Gold Glove defense. He’s making the game look a lot easier than it is.”
The numbers back up every word of Roberts’ statement. Over his last 15 games Mookie is slashing .339/.431/1.221 with seven bombs and 17 RBI. After starting the year with no homers, Mookie now has 12 and is SLUGGING 1.000 over his last seven games headed into Monday night.
That should have been where this story ended. Mookie got the best of his matchup with Josiah, and the Dodgers took care of business on the road.
However, what happened next had us wondering if this is 2022, or 1922.
Now, Josiah Gray didn’t have his best stuff on Tuesday and that was obvious. He was pulled after giving up five hits and seven earned runs against the Dodgers, his third consecutive start giving up five or more hits and at least three earned runs. But even as Gray has worked to regain his early season form, no performance warrants what happened to him next.
Gray took to Twitter after the game to expose an anonymous account who decided to let Gray know just how he felt. (WARNING- language used may be found offensive)
Originally I was going to say that this type of verbal abuse is unbelievable in 2022, but it’s time to cut the fluffy rhetoric and be real.
This isn’t surprising at all. No matter how many brands decided to pander in order to sell the Black community more merchandise, the underbelly of racism that drives this country is prevalent throughout MLB fandom.
Racist fans have gone unchecked for years in this game. As we continue to champion diversity and emphasize the growth of the game, this is simply unacceptable.
New York Mets starting pitcher Taijuan Walker is getting back to his dominant form after dealing with injuries at the start of the season.
The Mets have been one of the top teams in the league (24-14) and now that Walker is showing signs of improvement on the mound, the Mets are an even more formidable rotation to be reckoned with this season.
In his last start on May 12, Walker was lights out against the Washington Nationals.
He went seven innings, giving up three hits and striking out one without allowing a run. That’s the start the Mets have been waiting to see from Walker since he returned from the injured list.
It was a much better performance than his previous outing back on May 6th against the Philadelphia Phillies. Walker gave up six earned runs and nine hits that game.
Talk about a bounce back performance from Walker. That is exactly what he needed.
In an article from the New York Post, Walker talked about how he was effective against the Nationals.
“The game plan was to go in and throw at least eight curveballs,” Walker said after picking up the win against the Nationals. “I feel like when I throw a lot of curveballs, at least 8-10 per game, it just slows them down, and I was throwing it for strikes and getting swings and ground balls, swings and misses, so we just kept throwing it.”
Reportedly, Walker dealt with some back tightness during the game, but that did not impact him on the mound.
“I was trying to go eight [innings], but seven was good, and I think just getting the up-downs now and my pitch count up … now after this outing I feel I should be good to go deep every game,” he said.
Through four starts this season, Walker has a 1-0 record, throwing 18 innings with a 3.00 ERA and has struck out eight. Those are impressive numbers for Walker, especially since he dealt with injury at the start of the season. Dealing with shoulder bursitis is nothing to play with, especially when you are a pitcher.
The Mets will certainly keep a close eye on Walker as the season progresses and see how he continues to perform on the mound.