The New York Mets took a while to get their offense going, but a combination of youth and veterans powered their comeback against the St. Louis Cardinals. In the 5-3 victory, Taijuan Walker made his Mets debut in his trademark number 99 jersey.
Taijuan Walker, Filthy 90mph Splitter. ? pic.twitter.com/qD9sU1Tz2v
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 9, 2021
The Mets were down 3-0 heading into the seventh, but a Brett Baty walk and Drew Ferguson single set them up with no one out. Kevin Pillar continued his good spring training with an RBI single to put the Mets on the board. Jose Peraza followed up with a fielder’s choice to drive in a run, and Pete Alonso walked to load the bases.
A wild pitch by Seth Elledge knotted the score at three, then Ronny Mauricio capped off the inning with a two-run single. Mauricio will likely start the year in the minors, but the top prospect has turned heads with a 5-for-11 spring with three RBIs.
Taijuan Walker had an easy 1-2-3 first inning but ran into plenty of trouble in the second. A walk and two singles resulted in the first run for the Cards. Albert Almora‘s diving play saved the inning from blowing up as it only became a sacrifice fly. Walker got out of the inning after but allowed another walk and a couple of hard-hit balls. His velocity was good, sitting at 94, but he could not regain his control for the second inning.
Edwin Diaz followed Walker and has the best Mets outing of the spring. Diaz struck out Nolan Gorman and Yadier Molina with his high 90s fastball, then recorded a groundout from Austin Dean to finish off the outing. He looked in mid-season form with both his fastball and slider. Whether by accident or not, Diaz also showed the ability to change speeds on the slider. Miguel Castro was just as dominant with two strikeouts in an 11-pitch inning.
Trevor May struck out two but allowed a wind-guided home run to Justin Williams. Jeurys Familia walked on in one inning pitch but was far better than his past outings. Sam McWilliams made the ninth inning interesting with three consecutive walks but managed to escape without allowing any runs. The save was the McWilliams’ second of the spring.
The Mets take Wednesday off before heading back to West Palm Beach to face the Houston Astros. On Thursday, Jacob deGrom (1-0, 0.00) and Zack Greinke (0-1, 9.00) hook up for the second time at 6:05 p.m. ET.