Taijuan Walker vs. Josiah Gray | Melanated Mound Marauders Bounced Quickly In Nation’s Capital

Taijuan Walker vs. Josiah Gray | Melanated Mound Marauders Bounced Quickly In Nation’s Capital

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.

 

 

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.

 


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.

MLBBro Show Podcast/Mixtape 15

MLBBro Show Podcast/Mixtape 15

 

FRONT STREET

FRONT STREET

St. Louis Cardinals ace Jack Flaherty took the mound in search of his 10th win and had a solid outing on Wednesday. Black Jack pitched 6 innings, yielded two runs and K’d 8 in a hard luck no-decision against the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers.

FRONT STREET

FRONT STREET

Taijuan Walker goes for win No. 8 on Thursday afternoon when the right-hander totes the mound as the New York Mets finish a key series against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field.

Justin Dunn Is A Masterful Pitcher | His 15 Straight Quality Starts Leads The American League

Justin Dunn Is A Masterful Pitcher | His 15 Straight Quality Starts Leads The American League

Always remember that in many instances — pitching, for example — quality trumps quantity.  Justin Dunn’s pitching performance for the Seattle Mariners this season is a prime example of such an instance. 

With his victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday night, Dunn extended his American League-leading streak of 15 straight starts of allowing three or fewer runs.

Pitching is just different in 2021. Black in the day, pitchers were expected to throw longer into games than we see now.  Rarely do we see a complete game thrown, let alone a starter even reach the seven or eight-inning mark.  

With managers having the option of going to four or more guys in their bullpen who can throw 95 mph and above with dirty movement, the role of the starting pitcher now is to keep his team in a position to win, rather than go deep into games.

Throughout this season, and even extending into last, Dunn has been one of the best in baseball at getting this done.  

 

Since August 23, 2020, Dunn has been stingy, allowing three or fewer runs in his last 15 starts. Particularly, he has been heating up over his last three starts, and this could be the best stretch of his young career. 

Dunn, from Queens New York, has never been the biggest, hardest-throwing, or most intimidating pitcher, so he’d dealt with people doubting him and knocking him for not measuring up to the metrics. Those funny numbers that, falsely determine who has the goods, while overlooking things such as natural talent and heart.

In his last start this past weekend, Dunn went 5.2 innings, striking out eight and allowing one run in a 3-2 victory aided by MLBbro shortstop J.P. Crawford’s second home run of the season. Dunn’s stat line was very similar just two starts ago when he struck out a career-high nine in a loss to the Detroit Tigers.  In his last three games, Dunn has an ERA of 2.20 and a WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) of 0.92.

Dunn’s beginning to find his All-Star stride on the mound. He was drafted by the New York Mets in the first round of the 2016 draft after posting a 2.06 ERA in his junior season at Boston College.

Going into the 2018 season, Dunn was ranked as the No. 3 prospect in the Mets farm system.  

Later that year,  he was involved in a trade that sent him to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for one of the best second baseman of our generation in Robinson Cano (who was aging at the time) and closer Edwin Diaz.  Justin made his MLB debut on September 12, 2019, against the Cincinnati Reds.

Dunn recorded a 4.34 ERA in 10 starts during the Covid l9-shortened 2020 season. 

 

The kid they used to count out is currently putting together a quality resume for 2021. He has a 3.18 ERA and has struck out 45 batters this year.  

Opponents have not been able to make solid contact on him either. His .168 batting average against is good for the second-lowest in the American League behind the White Sox’s Carlos Rodon. 

Dunn and MLBbro rotation partner Justus Sheffield are one of two rotations in baseball that feature two black starters.  The other rotation resides in Flushing, Queens and consists of  Black Knights Marcus Stroman and Taijun Walker. 

Sheffield got the job done for the Mariners Friday night as he was awarded the win after going five innings allowing just two runs on six hits.

 

 

Dunn’s current streak of 15 straight starts, allowing three or fewer runs is good for the fourth-longest such streak in Mariners’ history trailing Seattle legend Felix Hernandez, Roenis Elías and Erik Bedard.

Dunn’s next start is Friday in Los Angeles as he and High Five member Kyle Lewis take on Justin Upton and the Angels.