Fri, 24 Sep 2021

Mets send Taijuan Walker to mound against former team

Field Level Media
24 Jul 2021, 16:55 GMT+10

The New York Mets didn't treat a former teammate very well Friday night. If they're going to snap out of a recent skid, the Toronto Blue Jays will need to perform in a similar manner Saturday night.

The Blue Jays will look to end a three-game losing streak when they visit the Mets in the middle game of a three-game interleague series.

Left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu (9-5, 3.32 ERA) is slated to start for Toronto against right-hander Taijuan Walker (7-3, 2.99), who spent the final five weeks of last season with the Blue Jays.

Pete Alonso homered twice Friday -- including a two-run, first-inning shot off former teammate Steven Matz -- and rookie Tylor Megill tossed six scoreless innings to earn his first big league win as New York blanked the Blue Jays, 3-0. Matz pitched against the Mets for the first time since getting traded last offseason.

The Blue Jays have been outscored 23-8 in the last three games. Toronto preceded the losing streak with a four-game winning streak, during which it outscored opponents 28-3.

Alonso was one of just two Mets to get beyond first base Friday. Megill singled in the fifth for his first career hit and went to second on another single by Brandon Nimmo.

"When your offense is quiet, you've got to make big pitches every time," Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. "Our pitchers did a good job. Defense was good, made some big plays defensively and Matz made one mistake. After that, he was really good."

The Mets will need Walker to rediscover his first-half form and follow in the footsteps of Megill and Marcus Stroman. The latter tossed eight scoreless innings of one-hit ball in a 7-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday.

Walker is coming off the shortest start of his career last Sunday when he gave up six runs, five earned, over just one-third of an inning. He was spared the loss when New York stormed back to beat the Pirates 7-6.

While the Mets acquired Rich Hill from the Tampa Bay Rays earlier Friday, the trio of Walker, Megill and Stroman will be relied upon to anchor a rotation that's missing two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom (right forearm) as well as Noah Syndergaard (Tommy John surgery), Carlos Carrasco (right hamstring) and David Peterson (oblique).

"The boys picked me up, everyone," Walker said Sunday. "I'm going to get into my five-day routine now and I'll be ready for the next one."

Ryu fared much better Sunday, when he allowed three hits over seven scoreless innings as the Blue Jays beat the Texas Rangers, 5-0. He is 5-1 with a 1.23 ERA in nine career starts against the Mets.

Walker is 0-3 with a 3.96 ERA in four career starts against the Blue Jays. He posted a 1.37 ERA while going 2-1 in six starts late last season for Toronto, which acquired him from the Seattle Mariners on Aug. 27.

--Field Level Media

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