Mike’s Met of the Month, June 2022: SP Taijuan Walker

Avoiding a June swoon was impressive for the New York Mets, who posted their first winning June in a decade despite a tough schedule and some serious injury issues. Positive offensive contributions from Jeff McNeil (who led the team with a .339 batting average for the month) and Pete Alonso (who hit a team-high nine home runs and drove in a team-high 22 runs) certainly helped while Edwin Diaz was lights out, recording five saves and pitching to a 0.93 ERA while striking out 21 batters in just 9.2 innings pitched. The race for the Met of the Month for June was tight, however, and the final winner is starting pitcher Taijuan Walker.

The Mets got shaky performances out of Chris Bassitt and Carlos Carrasco in June while Max Scherzer missed the entire month rehabbing an oblique injury. Those issues meant someone needed to step up for the Mets in their rotation and Walker passed the test with flying colors, going 3-2 with a 2.63 ERA over six starts while striking out 33 batters in 37.2 innings pitched. One of Walker’s most impressive outings came on June 12 in Anaheim, when it looked like he was going to struggle and get knocked out early, but Walker made a mechanical adjustment that helped him cruise through the rest of that outing and his next three starts as well.

Getting an ace-like performance out of Walker was huge for the Mets, who needed the innings and quality he provided to prevent their bullpen from taking a beating. Walker pitched like an All-Star in June, and although his hot streak may be a bit late to earn a second straight trip to the Midsummer Classic, it was good enough to earn a Met of the Month award for his trophy case.

Previous Mets of the Month:

April: SP Tylor Megill

May: 1B Pete Alonso