2023 World Baseball Classic: Phils’ Pitcher Taijuan Walker Leads Mexico over Great Britain

Mar 14, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Mexico pitcher Taijuan Walker in the first inning against Great Britain during the World Baseball Classic at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Not all pitching news is doom and gloom for the Philadelphia Phillies this Spring!  Free agent acquisition Taijuan Walker had a dominant night on the mound for the Mexican National Team on Tuesday night in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.  The 30-year-old struck out eight and scattered one hit and one walk over four-innings leading Mexico to a 2-1 win over Great Britain.  

Walker’s eight strikeouts set a Mexican National Team single-game record for K’s in the World Baseball Classic.  The outing included Walker striking out five Brits in a row at one point. It was the first time Walker pitched for the Mexican national team.  Walker’s mother is of Mexican descent making him eligible to pitch for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic.  

More importantly for the Phillies, Walker hit 96-MPH on the radar gun and commanded all of his pitches during his appearance.  A 2021 All-Star with the New York Mets, Walker is penciled in to be a key piece to the backend of the Phillies rotation.

Walker’s outing on Tuesday was a drastic improvement over his Phillies debut in Grapefruit League play.  The righty pitched 2.1 innings and allowed two earned runs on four hits and hit one batter before departing for the World Baseball Classic.

Mexico will battle Canada on Wednesday afternoon at 3 PM/ET in a crucial Pool C game.  A win by Mexico and they will advance as the winner of Pool C and take on the runner up of Pool D on Saturday in Miami.  A loss by Mexico and their time in the World Baseball Classic will be over.  The telecast begins at 3 PM/ET on FS2. 

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