Obviously, last night was all about Taijuan Walker and his Triple A Debut with the Tacoma Rainiers. The Rainiers picked up a 1-0 win and Walker threw six shutout innings, allowing just three hits. Brad Miller also extended his hitting streak to 21 games. Here’s some video of his postgame media session
For the TNT, I wrote this column about maintaining perspective with Walker, who is only 20 years old.
From my column …
You know who else had a similar outing in his first Triple-A start?
Felix Hernandez debuted in Fresno against the Grizzlies in 2005, throwing six innings and allowing no earned runs (one unearned) on five hits. He struck out four and walked one batter. He was the ripe old age of 19.
But let’s not start going there. Hernandez was a pitching prodigy, whereas Walker’s best sport in high school was basketball.
“Let’s not put too much pressure on him,” Stearns said. “Let’s let it happen as it goes.”
Indeed, it’s easy to see the failed start of Joe Saunders on Tuesday night and the uneven starts of Aaron Harang, and start envisioning Walker in a Mariners uniform this year.
That’s unfair to Walker. In a season when the Mariners were slightly forced to call up Mike Zunino a little prematurely, the same shouldn’t be done to Walker.
Even Walker knows he has to maintain perspective amid the success and hype.
“It’s right there, and it’s very exciting,” he said. “But at the same time, you have to take it one day at a time and one start at a time. I’ve been doing that a lot. I know last year, knowing it was still so close in Double A, I kind of got ahead of myself, and I think that kind of hurt me. This year I’ve just been taking it really slow.”
Here’s some video of Walker’s strikeouts …
Double A Jackson lost a tough game in 14 innings after rallying from a 6-2 deficit.
Class A High Desert got a big night from second baseman Patrick Brady in just his second game with the team in a 4-3 win over Lake Elsinore.
Dario Pizzano hit a two-run homer and Victor Sanchez returned to the mound after being on the inactive list in Clinton’s 2-1 win.
Class A Everett rallied for a 5-2 win against Tri-Cities