Mets’ Taijuan Walker dominates with help of Luis Guillorme

Buck Showalter denied deliberately surrounding Taijuan Walker on Wednesday afternoon with what in all probability initiatives to be the Mets’ greatest defensive infield. Luis Guillorme was at third base over Eduardo Escobar, the supervisor mentioned, just because he needed Escobar to have two days off, together with the off-day Thursday.

Regardless of the precise reasoning, it labored out.

Walker, one of the best on the Mets’ pitching workers at preserving the ball on the bottom, regularly induced contact that headed south — and regularly headed towards Guillorme’s vacuum glove. That helped Walker restrict one of baseball’s higher offenses in maybe his greatest begin of the season.

“I feel like I had everything working today,” mentioned Walker, who shut down the Astros for 7 ¹/₃ innings within the Mets’ 2-0 loss at Citi Field. “We got a lot of soft contact today, which is good, and the defense behind me was really, really good.”

Jose Altuve, the sport’s first batter, lined out to left. None of the following outs Walker tallied left the infield till Yordan Alvarez flew out to heart to finish the highest of the sixth inning.

Taijuan Walker
Taijuan Walker
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

Of the 22 outs Walker recorded, Guillorme had a hand — whether or not catching pop-ups, fielding grounders and throwing over or jump-starting a double play — in 12. In simply his seventh begin at third base, Guillorme confirmed off the identical glove that has made such an impression at second base predominantly and shortstop.

“He’s a Gold Glover,” Walker mentioned after permitting 4 hits and two walks whereas decreasing his ERA to 2.72. “Any time they hit it over that way, I know it’s a for-sure out.”

The Mets additionally had Dominic Smith enjoying first base on a day when Pete Alonso served because the DH. If they have been attempting to make sure the infield protection was sure-handed, there was good cause.

Entering play, Walker was nineteenth in baseball and greatest on the Mets amongst starters with no less than 60 innings thrown at getting floor balls, at a 49 p.c clip.

Luis Guillorme
Luis Guillorme

“I think Tai’s one of those guys — with all his pitches — a lot of people, especially righties, are going to roll over [the ball],” Guillorme mentioned after starring on protection, however going 0-for-3 on the plate. “It’s something you’re always expecting out there.”

Walker rolled by seven innings in simply 85 pitches. He needed to marketing campaign to return within the eighth inning, however he wanted eight pitches to induce a floor ball from Houston’s Jake Meyers to (who else?) Guillorme to finish his day.

Edwin Diaz then got here on to face the highest of the Astros’ lineup, and although the nearer bought the job performed, Drew Smith allowed the go-ahead dwelling run within the ninth.

“He had done his job,” Showalter mentioned of Walker, who struggled within the second half final season and has not gone previous 103 pitches in an outing this year.

“I would’ve liked to [stay in],” Walker mentioned with a shrug. “I still thought my stuff was really good, my movement was really good, I wasn’t leaving anything up.”

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