Taijuan Walker has had a career season in his first stint with the New York Mets. It’s evident that the Mets got a steal in free agency when they signed Walker in the offseason.
Walker immediately made an impact when he joined the team and has become a fan favorite in the Big Apple.
For the first time in his career, Walker was selected to play in the All-Star Game:
Taijuan Walker talks about finding out he was named to the All-Star team, and is excited to "watch Pete [Alonso] win the Home Run Derby" pic.twitter.com/AWl6K8vRJK
— SNY (@SNYtv) July 10, 2021
He was added as a replacement when his teammate, Jacob DeGrom, elected not to play in the All-Star game to focus on getting some rest.
Walker’s numbers have been beyond impressive this season and he was one player that deserved his selection.
On the season, he’s made 16 starts and has a 7-3 record with a 2.50 ERA and 89 strikeouts.
Playing in an All-Star Game is something that Walker always wanted to accomplish when he entered the league.
“It’s finally starting to come and hit me now,” Walker told the New York Post when he found out he was selected to the All-Star game. “Everyone’s texting me, my family’s texting me, so it’s really cool.”
One of the best times of my life today!! Thank you for everyone supporting and cheering me on! #LGM
— Taijuan Walker (@tai_walker) July 14, 2021
“Once I got to the big leagues, it’s always been a goal to be an All-Star, to be the best of the best and go out there and compete against the best and be around the best players in the league.”
Walker was also pleased to hear his teammate say that he deserved to play in the Midsummer Classic.
“Jake’s the best pitcher in the league right now. For him to come out and publicly say I should be an All-Star, it meant a lot to me,” he said.
Our MLBbro was the only player to represent the Mets in this year’s All-Star game.
In the sixth inning, Walker took the mound for the National League. He faced off against Cleveland Indians slugger Jose Ramirez to start the inning off and worked him to a full count and then retired him for the first out.
The next batter he faced was Whit Merrifield of the Kansas City Royals. Walker had no issues taking care of Merrifield as he struck him out for his first-ever All-Star Game strikeout.
Then Walker had the opportunity to face his former teammate Mike Zunino. Walker and Zunino were teammates for four seasons with the Seattle Mariners.
That at-bat, Zunino got the best of Walker as he took him deep for a solo home run. That was the only run Walker allowed in his one inning of work and for our brother, he was just glad to be out there on that stage.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) July 14, 2021
He was glad to have his family come and witness his first All-Star Game experience.
“Hearing my family scream for me, and cheer for me,” Walker told the New York Daily News on what he’ll take away from the game. “I definitely heard them when I got that strikeout. I’ll definitely remember that one for a while.”
Now that the second half of the season is here, Walker will look to continue to dominate on the mound and help keep his team at the top of the National League East Division.