Taijuan Walker grinds out seven scoreless innings with the assistance of the defense in the Mets' victory.
Queens' positive vibes returned after the Mets' satisfactory triumph over their division rivals.
Taijuan Walker struck out four batters over seven scoreless innings and allowed only three hits in the Mets' 4-0 victory over the Nationals on Sunday afternoon. The Mets improved to 9-8 on the season after sweeping the Nationals in their first visit to Citi Field.
Walker's fourth start of the season seemed dominant at first glance, but the outing was actually a bit of a grind. He maneuvered through basepath traffic in the first, third, and sixth innings to escape unscathed. The right-hander ensured that his three walks were not used against him. Walker aided himself in the first inning, nabbing leadoff hitter Josh Harrison at first base with a deft pick-off pass.
Albert Almora's game-changing play in the sixth inning highlighted the Mets' strong defensive day. Kyle Schwarber launched a deep fly ball to center field with the Mets leading 4-0 with runners on first and third. The fly ball had the potential to derail Walker's otherwise prosperous afternoon. Almora sprinted back toward the 408-foot sign in center, tracked the ball accurately, leaped, and made the catch before colliding with the wall for the inning's final out.
Almora stood up, beaming from ear to ear, while Walker extended his arm in gratitude for a job well done. The remainder of Almora's teammates awaited his arrival on the field to pay tribute to the Mets' backup outfielder.
Walker also got assistance from his defense in the third inning. Victor Robles led off with a double that he attempted to convert to a triple. The possibility was eliminated by a well-timed 9-4-5 relay between Michael Conforto, Jonathan Villar, and J.D. Davis. Francisco Lindor leapt into the air in the fifth inning to snag a liner off the bat of Yan Gomes. The Mets' critical fielding plays held the Nationals off the scoreboard Sunday.
Davis opened the scoring for the Mets in the first inning with a two-run home run off Patrick Corbin. His second home run of the season was his fourth career home run off Corbin. Luis Rojas promoted Davis to cleanup in anticipation of his third baseman's performance against Corbin. Pete Alonso led off the fifth inning with a deep 439-foot solo shot to center field.
Edwin Diaz pitched the ninth inning in a no-save situation and retired the side with a pair of flyouts before Alonso came up with a good catch at first with a toss to the closer for the game's final out.