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Mets' Taijuan Walker Exits vs. Braves With Back Injury

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 17, 2022

AP Photo/John Bazemore

Mets starting pitcher Taijuan Walker left Tuesday's game against the Atlanta Braves in the second inning with back spasms.

SNY @SNYtv

Here is the final pitch and play Taijuan Walker participated in before departing tonight. <a href="https://t.co/yK1antHnUg">pic.twitter.com/yK1antHnUg</a>

Steve Gelbs @SteveGelbs

The Mets say Taijuan Walker exited tonight’s game with back spasms.

He was the second straight Mets starter to leave a game early, after Carlos Carrasco left two innings into Monday's contest with an oblique injury that landed him on the 15-day Injured List.

Joe Pantorno @JoePantorno

Over the last 48 hours the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Mets?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Mets</a> have seen injuries to Luis Guillorme, Carlos Carrasco, and Taijuan Walker while Eduardo Escobar remains hampered by a side issue. <br><br>Brutal stretch here.

All things considered, though, the Mets will likely feel relieved that Walker isn't dealing with anything more serious than back spasms.

The 30-year-old has had a strong season, coming into Tuesday's start with a 10-3 record and a 3.43 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 85 strikeouts in 110.1 innings. He's been an important figure in the team's rotation as the Mets—who came into Tuesday with a 75-41 record, 4.5 games ahead of the Atlanta Braves—look to win a title.

But injuries have become a concern. The Mets even called up much-hyped third base prospect Brett Baty with Luis Guillorme injured and Eduardo Escobar's issues with left oblique tightness.

That will give Mets fans something to be excited about amidst the injuries. Between Double-A and Triple-A this season, the 22-year-old is hitting .315 with 19 home runs and 60 RBI.

Baty won't help ease any rotation issues if Walker is forced to the IL, of course. The hope will be that the team can tread water there, with players like David Peterson and Trevor Williams earning more starts. Add in Jacob deGrom's return to action earlier this month, and the Mets have options.

Still, Walker avoiding the IL altogether would be a major plus.

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