Taijuan Walker Dazzles in Mets’ 3-2 Victory Over Marlins

Credit: Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets (44-23) fought their way to victory on Saturday afternoon, besting the Miami Marlins (28-35) by a score of 3-2. taijuan walker reached another gear in one of his best starts as a Met, Francisco Lindor hit a home run for the second straight game, and the Mets are now 4-1 on their current homestand.

The Marlins were close to manufacturing a run against Walker in the first inning, as Jon Berti hit an infield single and proceeded to steal two bases without a throw. However, Walker struck out the next three batters, all looking, to end the frame and strand Berti at third base.

Walker was truly brilliant from there. After that single to lead off the game, he retired the next 18 batters he faced, matching a career high. Along the way, he collected nine strikeouts, striking out three in an inning on two separate occasions. The Marlins had no answer for Walker, who looked about as good as he ever has in a Mets uniform.

The Mets’ offense got the ball rolling in the second inning, tallying a run against Marlins starter Braxton Garrett. Jeff McNeil muscled an RBI single to right field, putting the Mets up 1-0 early. It was yet another two-out run for the Mets, who have had a penchant for extending innings all season.

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Things got better for the Mets in the third inning when Lindor launched his 11th home run of the season to put his team up 3-0. He was only his third homer this season as a right-handed batter. He now has 51 RBI on the year, good for fourth in all of baseball.

Walker’s streak of retiring consecutive batters ended in the seventh, when Jazz Chisholm Jr. led off the inning with a four-pitch walk. Chisholm came around to score on a two-out double from Avisail Garciabreaking up Walker’s shutout and ending his night. Drew Smith entered the game and immediately shut down the threat, striking out Lewin Diaz to keep it a 3-1 game.

Smith breezed his way through the eighth inning, striking out two more batters and setting up the Citi Field crowd for trumpets. Edwin Diaz ran into a little bit of trouble in the ninth, allowing a two-out RBI single to Garrett Cooper to cut the lead to 3-2. However, Díaz struck out García for his third strikeout of the inning, ending the game and securing his 14th save of the season.

Player of the Game: Taijuan Walker

Walker was downright untouchable through the first six innings of the game. His 2.88 ERA on the season has been crucial for a Mets team that has missed their front-end starters for most of the season. Walker had not recorded more than six strikeouts in any of his first nine starts of the season, but he now has 19 strikeouts across his last two starts (12 2/3 IP).

Final line for Walker: 6.2 IP, 2H, ER, BB, 9K

On-Deck

The Mets will look to secure a series victory when they face off against the Marlins on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field. First pitch is set for 1:40 pm ET, and the game will be broadcast on PIX11. The Mets will have Chris Bassitt on the mound, while the Marlins are set to counter with presumptive NL Cy Young Award frontrunner Sandy Alcantara.

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