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.
While the first half of the MLB season can seem to drag, the second half is where we really get some quality baseball.
Teams across the league will be making deals up to the trade deadline to strengthen their clubs for a pennant race, and for the MLBbros mentioned below, the remaining games have a lot more riding on them; the postseason.
Betts has been on fire in his last four games. After a perfect 4-for-4 night against Colorado on Saturday, Mookie has 12 hits in his last 16 at bats (.750 BA).
He’s raised his season average from .247 on July 4th to .271 and the second half of the season is looking like a monster mash for Mookie.
That’s good news for the Dodgers who sit one game behind San Francisco in the NL West division, with the Uber talented Padres sitting in the cut, 4.5 games behind LA and ready to make a run.
Dodgers’ fans held their collective breaths when Betts announced he wouldn’t be participating in this year’s All-Star game, but the superstar quickly put all worry to rest.
“There’s no break in baseball, so this is the only time I can really get a break of more than a day,” Betts said.” I just want to use it to the best that I can. I would love to be in the All-Star Game, but I think we all know the goal is to win a World Series.”
That last sentence is exactly what you want to hear from your superstar.
The fact that he’s having a down year by his standards probably played into his decision-making as well. This has been a rough start to 2021 for Mookie on many different levels.
I’m expecting Mookie to take his game to another level and send this team right back to the top of the West.
The Chicago White Sox have lived up to the offseason hype and Anderson is a major reason why.
The White Sox have continued to dominate their AL Central counterparts, despite major injuries to Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert and other key players.
With the All–Star and 2019 batting champ at the top of the lineup, the White Sox have been able to maintain the 4th–best run differential in baseball, but will need even more if the want to beat powerhouses like Houston and Los Angeles.
Walker’s two-year, $20 million deal (with a third year team–option for $6 million) has turned into the steal of 2021 free agency, and the Mets have every reason to believe things will continue to get better.
He came to tote serious rubber off the rip.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) April 8, 2021
Now, two full years removed from Tommy John surgery, Walker has blossomed into an All-Star and true top of the line starter for the Mets.
Their lead in the NL East currently sits at 2.5 games, but if Walker continues to dominate hitters like he has, there will be some great baseball in Queens this fall.
Marcus Semien is the latest athlete to take the old phrase “Bet on yourself ” and run with it.
After being denied a qualifying offer from the Oakland A’s, Semien took a one-year prove-it deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.
He even switched positions after establishing himself as a Major League quality shortstop.
The results have been nothing short of spectacular, as Semien has been the best second baseman in baseball this season.
With the Blue Jays slated to head back across the border, the Jays will need Semien if they have any chance of closing the eight-game gap between themselves and the first-place Red Sox.
If not, a wild–card berth may be the best case scenario in Toronto.
Rob Parker brings you exclusive MLB All-Star Week coverage & kicked it with The Bros, who helped to make it a diamond-mining extravaganza.
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.
Rob Parker celebrates the seven MLBbros that made the 2021 MLB All-Star squad: Michael Brantley, Aaron Judge, Cedric Mullins, Mookie Betts, Tim Anderson, Taijuan Walker and Marcus Semien.