Taijuan Walker’s gem helps the Mets Cardinal split

ST. LOUIS – Taijuan Walker was automatic, opposite the slope passed by the Cardinals for pitching on Thursday.

But leave it to the Mets’ lineup to control uncertainty in what otherwise should be a lopped game. Each Walker pitch therefore mattered, and the right-hander did not disappoint his team in a 4–1 win over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium that divided the Mets into a four-match series.

Walker hit one in seven innings and retained the final 18 batters, who faced their best performances since joining the club this season. The Mets certainly welcomed the outing, following a doubleheader the previous day that included a “bullpen” game.

The Mets finally set up a cushion in the eighth when they sent eight batters to the plate (for the second time in a game) and scored twice to take a 4–1 lead. Pete Alonso’s walk forced forced a run and added another to Dominic Smith’s RBI single. And there was another pivotal moment in the ninth, when Francisco Lindor sang in right field, wreaking havoc on a perfect-26 field. Lindor reached base four times in the game.

Tijuan Walker
Taejuan Walker allowed just one hit in seven innings on Thursday.

But it was largely a disappointing afternoon at the plate for the Mets, who made 11 walks and gave up 17 runners on base. He finished 3-for-15 with the runners in scoring position, and won his title in that category.

Walker allowed an unreserved run after Jonathan Villar threw for a second time for an error, and gave the Cardinals runners out on the corners. Harrison Bader’s sacrifice journey was brought to Nolan Arenado, which marked the beginning of Singing.

But Walker got the roll, beginning in the second inning. This included coming back to the mound after a delay of 17 minutes of rain before the sixth floor and facing three batsmen with ease.

The tone may have been set in the first inning for the afternoon, when Walker shook hands with Tommy Edman, Dylan Carlson and Paul Goldsmid.

The Mets’ patience paid dividends in the fifth, when they sent eight batters to the plate and scored twice, getting a hit without an inning. After Alonso reached Arenado’s throwing error, John Gantt forced Smith, Kevin Pilar, and Villar for a run in succession. Gantt was replaced by Cody Whitley, who drove in James McCain and gave the Mets their second run.

The Mets left five runners on base in the third and fourth innings. Alonso was singing to load the bases in the third, but Smith was out and Pilar was retired on a brilliant catch by Justin Williams, who reached the left-field fence in the foul area. In the fourth, the Mets ruined consecutive singles from McCann and Walker, as Lindor ended the inning after Jeff McNeill came in the fielder’s choice.

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