Fly Tai Walker Looks To Bounce Back After Rough Atlanta Start

Fly Tai Walker Looks To Bounce Back After Rough Atlanta Start

Taijuan Walker has had an impressive season so far for the New York Mets.

Coming off a season where he was named an All-Star for the first time in his career, he was ready to have more success this season. And he already has more wins than he did last year.

 

Walker, who has nine wins on the season, ranks third on the team in that category and has had multiple outings where he dominated opposing teams.

Today, he’ll look to secure his 10th win of the season against the Cincinnati Reds.

Hopefully he will not have an outing like he did against the Atlanta Braves.

It was not Walker’s night on August 5 against the reigning World Series champs, Atlanta Braves.

The Braves got to Walker quick in the first inning, scoring eight runs and hitting two home runs to secure a 9-6 victory.

Walker only lasted one inning and after the game he admitted he did not have his best stuff out there.

“It wasn’t a good day for me,” Walker said in an article from The New York Post. “I don’t want it to happen in a big series like this, but it did and I’m going to move on from it. … My velo wasn’t very good today either and I was leaving too many balls over the middle of the plate. I didn’t do my job today and the bullpen had to wear it, which I’m not proud of at all.”

“I just didn’t have command of my fastball today,” he said. “My splitter was up, didn’t land any sliders for strikes and I left balls over the middle of the plate and they hit me hard.”

Walker snapped a streak of 15 straight starts in which he allowed four runs or fewer.

Going into that game, Walker won his two previous starts coming against the Miami Marlins and the New York Yankees.

Despite that disastrous outing against the Braves, Walker’s numbers this year are still impressive.

 

Melanated Mound Marauders Toss Coastal Gems | Taijuan Walker & Josiah Gray Manhandled Top MLB Teams Tuesday Night

Through 19 starts, he has a 3.45 ERA with 80 strikeouts.

Prior to the start against the Braves, the most runs Walker allowed this season was six and that was back in May against the Philadelphia Phillies.

This will be an opportunity for Walker to redeem himself and get back to showing how effective he can be on the mound.

Walker has had success against the Reds this season. Last month he made a start against Cincinnati and picked up the win, going six innings while striking out nine and giving up three runs.

With the Mets being in a good position to make the postseason, Walker will play a key role, especially toward the end of the season.

And Walker has that competitive edge to himself where he wants to win at all cost.

Expect him to be on his A game against the Reds and throughout the remainder of the season.

Tim Anderson’s Suspension Reduced | TA7 Is Still Confident The White Sox Make A Playoff Run

Tim Anderson’s Suspension Reduced | TA7 Is Still Confident The White Sox Make A Playoff Run

Over the weekend, Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson reached a settlement with Major League Baseball which saw his three-game suspension reduced to two. Anderson was suspended by the league for making contact with an umpire during an argument over balls and strikes in late July. 

White Sox Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa was adamant that there was fault on both sides and that any suspension should take that into consideration. “Did you see how the interaction happened?” asked La Russa after the incident. “The way we see it, there’s an argument to be made that the umpire didn’t move back, he was moving forward as well.”

 

 

Given the reduction of Anderson’s suspension by a game, clearly someone in the league office felt the same. 

Now suspensions are never a good thing, but for TA this may actually serve as a much-needed break to reset. The White Sox struggles have been well documented this season, but as of late their superstar shortstop has also been on the skids. 

While Anderson remains in the 98th percentile in expected batting average, he has struggled since the All-Star break. Over his last 15 games, Tim is slashing .258/.281/.290 with just 16 hits and seven runs scored in 62 at-bats. 

One glaring difference is his batting average against fastballs this season. In 2021 TA hit a blistering .331 against fastballs, but so far this season he’s seen that average drop to .286.

Now Anderson is still seeing the fastball at the plate 56 percent of the time, but the production simply isn’t there. A .286 average may be respectable for most of the league, but not for TA. His batting average isn’t the only issue, as his slugging percentage versus the fastball has plummeted 100 points from .495 to .393.

Even with his struggles now mirroring the team’s underwhelming season, Anderson has continued to tell whoever’s willing to listen that there are no issues in the White Sox clubhouse. 

“Nobody really knows what’s going on,” said Anderson. “It’s just a lot of people with a lot of opinions, and we’re on the inside laughing. But we understand when you’re going through a lot of things, there’s going to be a lot of opinions, and the biggest thing is to not really buy into those opinions. Just stay the course and stay focused and keep rallying around each other.”

Anderson and the Sox will need more than rallying around each other if they want to make the playoffs this season. They’ve battled back to two games above .500 and are only two games behind the Twins, but without a return to their early 2021 form, it may be impossible for Chicago to live up to preseason expectations.