Taijuan Walker has been the steal of the offseason for the New York Mets and had another fantastic start. He struck out 12 to take a second straight game from the Chicago Cubs by a score of 3-2. Walker’s previous season-high was nine strikeouts, and he blew right past that for his sixth victory of the season.
Taijuan Walker's Gorgeous Front Door Two Seamers. 😍
11th and 12th Ks. pic.twitter.com/ctz7Aa4uVQ
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 16, 2021
Early in his start, Walker did not look like he had the best command of his pitches. Walker immediately had a first and second, then bases-loaded jam in the first inning but struck out three to survive the inning. From that point, Walker slowly started to get himself in a grove and found command of all pitches. His best weapon was his two-seam fastball which drew flashbacks to Bartolo Colon. Walker dominated for seven innings, a dozen strikeouts, and just two runs allowed, which came on a Javier Baez homer.
Thank You Willie
Walker retired the last 12 batters he faced, then passed the baton over to Seth Lugo. He recorded his first two-inning save since last August by working a perfect eighth and an extremely hectic ninth. Lugo received help from Cubs’ third base coach Willie Harris who crazily sent Jake Marisnick to get thrown out at home plate on Eric Sogard‘s double. This game was a prime example of how dangerous the Mets pitching staff has become. Their number three starter led their way while their second closer came into shut the door.
The Mets’ offense was not at their best tonight. They had plenty of chances to tack on to the lead throughout the game but went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left ten on base. Pete Alonso carried the load on offense with three RBIs, two coming on a single and the lead one with a sacrifice fly. Jonathan Villar also had a strong game with two hits, including a double.
Jacob deGrom returns to the mound to build upon his historic season after dealing with elbow issues. Robert Stock makes his Cubs debut, and first MLB start in game three of the series. The first pitch is once again scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET from Citi Field.