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Struggling Met Taijuan Walker buoyed by strong finish

Taijuan Walker insists he’s making progress. Maybe the optimistic strides the All-Star right-hander thinks he’s making will present up in a tangible method in his subsequent outing.

Although Walker completed properly, he struggled but once more within the Mets’ 5-4 loss to the Marlins, permitting a minimum of 4 runs in his fourth consecutive outing.

“I think I’m going in the right direction, honestly,” he mentioned over Zoom after his ERA rose to three.86, the very best it has been all season. “I felt good. I felt like I finished really strong at the end.”

Walker was touched up for 2 solo homers and gave up three pricey runs within the third, digging a gap too deep for the offensively challenged Mets.

Since the All-Star break, Walker has been tagged for 20 earned runs over 15 innings, good for an astronomical 12.00 ERA. This was his longest outing for the reason that break. He went 5 ²/₃ innings and retired 9 of the final 10 Marlins he confronted.

Taijuan Walker
Taijuan Walker
Getty Images

“My fastball was really good today. The velo was there for the whole game,” Walker mentioned. “Those last three innings they weren’t really catching up to the four-seam fastball or the two-seamer.”

But the second and third innings had been his downfall. Walker gave up a house run to light-hitting catcher Alex Jackson within the second — it was Jackson’s first career round-tripper — and allowed three runs on three hits within the third that was capped by Bryan De La Cruz’s two-out, two-run single. He’s given up seven homers for the reason that All-Star break after permitting solely six earlier than that.

“Just leaving pitches over the middle of the plate really,” he mentioned. “It’s just a little stretch I’m going through with the long ball.”

There has been concern over Walker’s heavy workload. He is now at 105 innings this year, after throwing a mixed 67 ²/₃ innings the earlier 4 seasons. He felt his timing was off initially after the break, however Walker doesn’t consider the innings on his arm are an issue.

“I feel like the last two weeks I’ve been able to get back into my routine and right now I feel really good,” he mentioned.

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