The New York Mets must win in Pittsburgh tonight

Ryan Moran
taijuan walker, mets
Aug 16, 2022; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Taijuan Walker (99) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

With a great opportunity at home to maintain their division lead, the New York Mets dropped the final two games with the Washington Nationals.

Now, despite having the third-most wins in all of baseball, the Mets have seen their division lead shrink to just one game. It is unfortunate they blew a great chance at home and ultimately lost a series they never should have.

However, they had yesterday off with the rain delay in Pittsburgh and now must bounce back.

Taijuan Walker will go tonight:

Against the Pirates in the first of three tonight, the Mets will have Taijuan Walker on the mound. Walker enters this one with a great 10-3 record and a solid 3.45 ERA. He has not recorded a win over his last three starts, and the Mets have lost all three of those games.

Walker will have a favorable opportunity tonight. He is facing a Pirates lineup that has scored just five runs in their last four games. Their batting order is quite poor, to say the least.

Expect a strong outing of roughly six innings and close to 100 pitches from Walker in this one. The Mets need Walker to rise up here when they need it most, especially with the lineup’s recent struggles.

More is needed from the New York Mets bats:

This has had to be said too many times for the Mets as of late. For a team in a tight competition to take the division, the hitting has let the team down too frequently.

In the final two games with the Nationals, the Mets scored a run a piece in each matchup. Nowhere near good enough, especially with the way the Braves are playing.

Tonight, the Pirates are slated to have right-hander Mitch Keller start. It will likely lead to Daniel Vogelbach and Tyler Naquin in the lineup. Two acquired bats at the trade deadline the Mets need to pick it up.

At this point in the season, the Mets’ bottom-of-the-lineup is what it is. Any contributions can be counted as a bonus.

However, they need their prime bats to get things going and give their great pitching some help. Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, Starling Marte, Jeff McNeil, and Brandon Nimmo are the obvious bats the Mets need at least quality production from to take game one of this series. Home runs, in particular, would go a long way.

In conclusion, the Mets are matching up for three against the second-worst team in baseball with a 49-84 record when they need a series direly. Tonight should be a game that the Mets win with ease. This series should be one the Mets take and, if not sweep.