Taijuan Walker just won his MLB debut with the Seattle Mariners. On Friday night (August 30) against the Houston Astros, Walker made his first career start for the Mariners. He went five strong innings, giving up just two hits and one unearned run. Both hits could arguably have been errors, as misplayed balls by Raul Ibanez and Kyle Seager were ruled as hits by the scorekeeper.
Walker was on a tight pitch count in this game as the front office didn't want to overuse him already. He threw 70 pitches, but the Astros hitters were only really able to get to him in the third inning. He had retired the first eight batters before Ibanez misplayed a ball driven to left field. The unearned run was able to score when Justin Smoak dropped a ball at first base to extend the inning.
This was also a great day for Dustin Ackley, who went 4-for-5 from the plate with four RBIs and a run scored. He also had a great sliding catch in center field that robbed an Astros hitter of a possible triple. Brad Miller had two more hits from the leadoff spot and the team had 11 total hits to put up seven runs. Giving Walker run support in his MLB debut was almost as important as the rookie having a good night on the mound.
If this first start is a sign of things to come for the Seattle Mariners, then Taijuan Walker could soon be competing for a Cy Young Award. Putting him in the same rotation as Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma neat season could really give the team an impressive first three starters in the rotation. The rest of the league is about to take notice as well, because Walker looks like he has greatness in that arm.
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