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Happy Walker Day.
While the Mets’ past was on not-so-glorious display Wednesday with Matt Harvey’s return to Citi Field, the present couldn’t have looked much better.
There was Taijuan Walker looking every bit like the steal of the offseason, with a second straight shutdown performance, this one spearheading the Mets’ seventh straight victory, 7-1 over the Orioles.
Walker allowed one run on four hits over seven innings with four strikeouts and three walks. Over his last 14 innings the right-hander has surrendered only one earned run and saw his ERA shrivel to 2.20 (which is still only third-best in the Mets rotation, behind Jacob deGrom and Marcus Stroman).
Harvey, in his first appearance at Citi Field since he was traded by the Mets in 2018, received warm ovations as he took the mound, came to the plate and departed the game. But the once Dark Knight didn’t offer much resistance to the Mets’ bats.
He got chased in the fifth with the Mets already ahead 5-0 and watched as reliever Shawn Armstrong allowed two inherited runners to score. In all, Harvey was charged for seven earned runs on eight hits and one walk with four strikeouts, as his ERA surged from 3.60 to 4.81.
Walker, who arrived late in the offseason on a two-year deal worth $20 million (after the Mets had missed on options such as Trevor Bauer and James Paxton), has pitched to a 1.11 ERA at home this season.
The early offensive support provided him a nice cushion, as the Mets matched their highest scoring output during the winning streak. Dominic Smith led the offensive attack with a 3-for-4 performance, as the Mets went a third straight game without a home run.
Jonathan Villar singled leading off the fifth and stole second before Michael Conforto stroked an RBI single with one out. After Pete Alonso walked, ending Harvey’s afternoon, Smith delivered with an RBI double for his third hit of the game. Jose Peraza’s RBI single extended the lead to 7-0.
Kevin Pillar’s two-run triple in the second – the ball banged off the fence in left-center – gave the Mets a 2-0 lead. Jose Peraza’s ensuing RBI single extended that lead. The rally started with Pete Alonso’s poked double to right, and Smith singled him to third.
Smith’s RBI single in the third put Harvey in a 4-0 hole. Francisco Lindor singled leading off the inning and stole second before Smith delivered with two outs.
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