So check this out: "Walker Texas Anger" Pretty cool huh? I will be saving that one for when Taijuan Walker dominates the Rangers or something. Or now as I am angry that Walker is struggling to find great starts as the season winds down. Understandable for the recently-turned 20-year-old but maybe it's finally time to shut him down.
Walker gave up four runs in the bottom of the first inning at Mobile last night before settling down and finishing with a line of: 5.2 innings, 5 R, 4 ER, 7 hits, 2 BB and 3 K. He allowed a leadoff double before four more singles would end up driving in the runs. Mike Zunino also had a passed ball to setup the final single that would drive in the last two of the inning. He also allowed a homer to David Nick in the fourth.
The young pitcher is now 7-8 with a 4.22 ERA on the year with 105 strikeouts and 48 walks in 117.1 innings. He dominated April and May before a terrible June, settled down in July but has had a poor August that's seen him strike out just 13.5% of batters compared to the 30.2% of batters he K'd in the first month of the season. Walker has also struggled on the road, a 5.04 ERA away compared to a 3.34 ERA at home.
His last truly dominating performance was July 26th against Montgomery when he struck out 8 and walked none in 6 innings and he has allowed at least one extra base hit in twelve straight starts beginning June 15th. He has given a home run in three straight.
It will be interesting to see if they start him in Tacoma next year or wait until he truly dominates AA again.
Mike Zunino was 0-for-4 in the 5-2 loss.