Taijuan Walker Silences The Mets | Fly Tai’s Fourth Win In A Row Was Ace Stuff

Taijuan Walker Silences The Mets | Fly Tai’s Fourth Win In A Row Was Ace Stuff

The Philadelphia Phillies began a three game set against division foe New York Mets, with a 5-1 win behind another solid start from Taijuan Walker.

Make that four wins in a row for Big Tai.

 

Walker pitched six strong innings, giving up one run, three hits, while striking out five – improving his record to 8-3.

 

After a rough start to the season, (5.65 ERA in first 12 starts)  Taijuan Walker  has been real stingy on the mound lately.

Over his past four starts: 0.69 ERA with 26 IP, while only allowing 14 hits, two earned runs, six walks and 26 K’s. He’s dealing out there!

This kind of productivity is reminiscent of his first half of the 2021 MLB season form, when he received his first All-Star nod. He has now lowered his ERA to a much more respectable 4.10, lower than the 2023 league average of 4.20.

Jaelen Gilkey Spits the FACTZ On MLB Network About Taijuan Walker’s Start Tonight Against The Chicago White Sox

It would be remiss not to mention, that his latest stellar outing came against his former team,

The Mets, who failed to extend a qualifying to Taijuan last season after having a solid season, going 12-5 with a 3.49 ERA, his best season since 2017.

Walker pitched two seasons for New York, starting 59 games, compiling a 19-16 record, and 3.98 ERA.

He opted out of a six million dollar  option with the club, knowing “yesterdays price is not today’s price” and that he would command a strong market in free agency after his performance last season.

This paved the way for the Phillies to swoop in and sign the pitcher to a four year deal, worth 72 million.

 

This is an important series for both teams. The Mets (34-41), with the highest payroll in baseball have been an epic disappointment thus far.

 

Coming into the series desperately looking to gain ground in the standings, they’re now sitting fourth in the NL East, 14 games out of first place in the division and 7.5 games out of the Wild Card.

The Phillies (39-36) have been playing much better ball lately, and are just 2.5 games out of a Wild Card spot.

 

The Mets, with a team ERA of 4.66, the sixth worst in the MLB, are quite frankly starving for quality pitching and could use this version of Tai Walker.

He might not admit it, but, it had to feel good to stick it to his old team, when at this point, they need every game to keep their playoff hopes alive.

 

 

 

Taijuan Walker Is Still Searching For His Philly Zone

Taijuan Walker Is Still Searching For His Philly Zone

MLBbro Taijuan Walker spent the last two seasons of his career pitching for the New York Mets.

He experienced arguably the best two seasons of his career there, reaching the postseason in 2022 and becoming an All-Star in 2021. After eight seasons of middling production, Wlaker put it all together in New York.

After his success last year, the MLBbro chose to cash in by agreeing to a four-year contract worth $72 million with National League East rival Philadelphia Phillies.

Tai Walker & Stro Show | Black Baseball History In The Making In Flushing

 

Walker returned to New York to face his former team yesterday and was met with a rough response. The Phillies would lose to the Mets 4-2.

The MLBbro lasted only four innings and did not display good command of any kind. Walker only allowed two hits, but one was a two-run home run by Mets Left Fielder Mark Canha.

Walker also walked three batters and only struck out two.

The Phillies had won four of their last five games in which Walker had started, despite him having some rough outings, but today the team could not provide any more support outside of two runs they brought across in the first inning.

Jaelen Gilkey Spits the FACTZ On MLB Network About Taijuan Walker’s Start Tonight Against The Chicago White Sox

 

Many Phillies fans have already soured on the MLBbro. His velocity has lowered, and command has been an issue. With an ERA over 5.00 and a WAR of 0.3, there is cause for concern.

Walker remains focused and is determined to right the ship.

 

Losers of seven out of their last ten games, the Phillies have much to be concerned about, but there is still time to gain ground in the crowded NL East.

Fans and those in the Philidelphia organization indeed wanted a better return on their investment in the MLBbro pitcher after seeing him go 12-5 in 29 starts last season. 

 

If Walker can focus on command issues and currently boasts a 10.1% walk rate, he will be able to regain last year’s form. The team has secured the top of their rotation, but they have been looking for someone to step up in that third spot.

 

The MLBbro has the highest ERA of anyone in the starting rotation for the club, which is a bug let down on the heels of a large contract.

 

Hopefully, Thursday’s outing was the end of the current slump that Walker is enduring, and a major comeback is on the way

“He Looked Really Good” | 2022 MLB Draft No.3 Overall Pick Kumar Rocker Finally In His Safe Haven

“He Looked Really Good” | 2022 MLB Draft No.3 Overall Pick Kumar Rocker Finally In His Safe Haven

The last two years have been a whirlwind for Rangers No.8 prospect and the 2022 MLB Draft No.3 overall pick Kumar Rocker.

The former Vanderbilt Commodores star became the first pitcher to toss a no-hitter in the Super Regional round of the 2019 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament. He also would go onto win both of his starts in the College World Series, being named MOP of the tourney.

In many aspects he was either the No.1 or No.2 pitching prospect along with teammate Jack Leiter.

 After being selected No.10 overall by the New York Mets in the 2021 MLB Draft, Rocker should have been on top of the world, about to take the Big Apple by storm and join an already talented pitching staff.

 

 

 The Mets did a complete about face and Mets decided against signing Rocker due to uncertainty about his health. Shoulder concerns put Rocker under the knife in September 2021, and it’s been a long rehab back. It didn’t take long for Rocker to move off the board in the 2022 MLB Draft.

The talented bro was selected No. 3 overall by the Texas Rangers, who are elated to bring a rare talent such as Rocker into its pitching-strapped organization. 

Rocker Makes MLB Debut In Arizona Fall League: Taking It Slow

Rocker took the mound in the AFL on October 4th. While the burly, power-pitching phenom didn’t have the command and control he’s used to having, he still showed that bulldog grit he displayed during his illustrious college career.

The velocity on Rocker’s pitches were there and the command will come.

Rangers/ Saguaros catcher Cody Freeman was thoroughly impressed with Rocker, and he raved about his what he has in his arsenal.

“He looked really good. He was around the zone a little bit, but he got back in there and pounded it. He’s going to be something special.”

“He’s a strike thrower and he has some nasty stuff, as you could tell.”

Rocker has ace abilities and the Rangers are hoping he could one day be that for their staff.

 

 

 Rocker Showed More Improvement In Second Start

 After a promising first start, Rocker was even better in his second AFL appearance. This time tossing two innings, instead of one, Rocker was more locked in and the extra inning allowed him more opportunities to test out some of his other pitches.

He struck out two batters and walked two, the walks are all a product of rust, as he just missed the third called strike on one of the walks. His fastball hovered around 94-96 MPH and maxed out at 97.

This outing he dabbled with his change-up and his best pitch, which is his slider. The pitch he overwhelmed hitters with in the CWS and made MLB scouts salivate.  

Following his performance Rocker told reporters this ….

“I was just in the zone more. The changeup was good, the slider was good. The fastball, I’m still getting the timing for that just to get everything synched up.”

Rocker says he has no expectations for his performance in the AFL. The MLBbro is just happy to be back on the mound. His minor setbacks have definitely given him an even deeper appreciation for the sport that’s provided him with so much opportunity.

“I’ve got no expectations for (the AFL). I just want to have a good time and keep winning ballgames with this team.”

Rocker is expected to take the mound four more times in the AFL, and his usage is also expected to ramp up a little more each time out.