Taijuan Walker, Mets Offense Show Off vs. ATL

Metsies offense explodes for baker's dozen

This is what we’re talking about.

Taijuan Walker made a triumphant return, the Mets’ offense absolutely exploded, and the bullpen went four very strong innings to secure this team’s fourth win in a row, a 13-2 thrashing of Atlanta, extending their lead in the NL East to 3.5 games.

Walker, returning from an IL stint due to left-side tightness, went five strong frames, striking out eight Braves, allowing just two hits, and racking up whiff rates north of 40 percent on his four-seam, slider, and splitter with 17 called strikes across the board.

Just an outstanding return to the mound for the hulking right-hander. Walker’s ERA is down to 1.84 on the season and he’s been arguably the most valuable signing of the offseason — league-wide.

With the extended absence of Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Carrasco’s Mets debut still yet to take place, Walker, as well as Marcus Stroman, David Peterson, and Joey Lucchesi will be essential to the Mets’ continued success.

Since Delayed Opening Day, offensive production has been an issue for this team. They had no such issues on Saturday night.

James McCann got things started in the first with a solo homer, his fourth of the season, and things just got more fun from there.

McCann doubled a rocket (107.3 MPH exit velocity) off Guillermo Heredia’s glove in center field, moved to third on his bobble, and came home on Dominic Smith’s RBI single up the middle to give New York an early 2-0 lead.

Jonathan Villar extended that lead to 3-0 with a solo homer into the apple in the fifth, and between the combination of fans being back in the house en masse and the offense showing up, you could just feel something cool was happening.

Tomas Nido’s RBI groundout later in the frame made it a 4-0 game, Atlanta got one back in the top of the sixth, and the Mets never looked back.

Cameron Maybin led off the bottom half with his first hit as a Met — a little dribbler that hugged the third-base line until dying in the dirt — snapping a franchise-record 0-for-27 drought at the plate and starting a water-shed inning for the Metropolitans.

Brandon Drury crushed a pinch-hit two-run moonshot to make it a 6-1 game, Villar (walk) and Francisco Lindor (Freeman error) reached, and McCann stroked an RBI single, and Nido’s base hit scored Lindor to make it 8-1.

And Billy McKinney absolutely tanked a three-run bomb into the soda seats (whatever they're called now) to cap off a seven-run sixth.

Lindor tacked on two more in the seventh with his fourth home run of the year, and, just like that, thirteen runs.

For this offense. Without [add a dozen names here]. Unfuckingreal.

Simply Amazin' Ep. 98: Magic's Back!!

McCann went 4-for-5 with three runs scored and two more driven in, hoping to find himself a little groove at the plate.

Lindor went 2-for-5 after talking on Saturday afternoon about the work he’s put in to get past his snail’s-pace start to his tenure in New York.

A number of sterling defensive plays were made. Nido’s cannon behind the plate. Villar’s easy transition back to the hot corner after not playing the position since 2016 (-10 OAA; 0 OAA this season).

Heading into the game, the Mets’ +6 outs above average as a team ranked seventh in MLB, per Statcast. All terrific things.

Jacob deGrom is scheduled to start for the Mets on Sunday night on ESPN, weather permitting. Let’s hope this lineup saved some firepower for the big stage. LFGM, fam.

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