Mets pitcher Taijuan Walker is off to a strong start, but his season will be evaluated by his second half performance.
It is never too early to look ahead to after the All-Star break, but there will be pressure on Taijuan Walker to perform in the second half.
In 2021, his performance between the first and second half of the season were opposites of each other.
He went 7-3 with a 2.66 ERA in the first half on his way to his first All-Star nod following an injury to Jacob deGrom.
But in his first start after the break, he only recorded just one out while giving up five earned runs, setting the tone for a rough second half. He compiled an 0-8 record and a 7.13 ERA after the break with the home run ball killing him, and it left fans questioning his longevity and worth of his contract.
This year, he is once again off to a good start, with a 4-2 record and a 3.08 ERA in 10 starts, and he is coming off his best start of the season, in which he struck out 10 batters on Sunday night in Anaheim against the Angels.
Over these next few weeks, Walker must prove he can consistently give his team quality innings because when Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom return from injuries, there will be tough decisions to be made on who will stay in the rotation between him, Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco, and Tylor Megill. So Walker is pitching with something to prove.