Mariners Analysis: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not

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Jul 1, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Taijuan Walker (32) pitches during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Stock Up: Taijuan Walker

If the Mariners’ had to win one game tomorrow to make it to the World Series, there is no doubt in my mind on who I would pick to start that game, and it isn’t King Felix. Taijuan Walker has been by far and away the Mariners’ best pitcher since June, and to be completely honest the young right-hander hasn’t even made it close. In June someone told Taijuan Walker something, and the young right-hander hasn’t looked back sense. Prince Tai went 4-1 with a 2.36 ERA, scattering 32 hits over 34.1 innings of work. The most impressive stat to me was his 36/3 strike out to walk ratio, which comes out to be a rather robust 12 strikeouts for every walk. For a power pitcher like Taijuan Walker, that is absolutely phenomenal.

So how does he follow up that sensational June? How about throwing six shut out innings in his first start of July, allowing just one hit in six sharp innings while striking out seven in the process.

So why would I pick Taijuan Walker to start a game over the King in an absolute must win? Well, at the end of the day it’s all about wins, and all Prince Tai has done is win. When he toes the rubber, the M’s have won his last five starts, and you have to go back to June 3rd to find a loss (That’s over a month). This team looks more confident with him on the mound, and the way he attacks hitters becomes contagious to this offense. He goes after guys, gets the M’s back in the dugout quickly, and the team is rewarding him because of it. In his current five game win streak, the M’’s have scored 9, 5, 6, 3, and 7 runs. That’s good for 30 runs in five games; and an average of six runs a game, far greater than their season average of 3.39. He gives this team confidence, and it is so incredibly fun to watch a true star emerge in front of our very eyes this season.

Next: Nelson Cruz Named ASG Starting DH

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