Taijuan Walker settles in
There are many times during a season when the box score doesn’t tell the complete story. Right-hander Taijuan Walker’s Diamondbacks debut was better than his line indicates.
Walker’s evening ended after six innings. He gave up four earned runs and seven hits, while striking out seven and walking four. His ERA sits at 6.00, and Walker’s effort is not statistically considered a quality start.
Walker’s start was a tale of two completely different outings. Nerves likely played a role, but he struggled to settle in early. He surrendered two runs in the second and one in the third. Brandon Belt hit a low and away pitch in the fifth making it 4-1.
But, after the Diamondbacks tied up the score in the bottom half, Walker shut down the Giants in order in the sixth, keeping the momentum on his team’s side.
Torey Lovullo talked with arizonasports.com after the game about the importance of the starters keeping the score manageable.
"When his back was against the wall, he came out, made pitches, kept us in the game and allowed us to start to maneuver in the seventh in the bullpen, which was a great effort on his part."
Walker relied on his four-seam fastball but mixed with a good dose of split-fingers and cutters to keep the hitters off balance. He elevated his fastball late in the game, and that proved useful.
The Diamondbacks are going to score runs. The pitchers have to avoid the big inning and keep the ball in the yard. The home run Walker allowed, which he will do, was a solo shot. Any manager would prefer that over a home run with men on base. He also throws a lot of strikes and does not walk batters.