5) Blame Phillies pitcher Taijuan Walker for falling so far behind the Braves
Taijuan Walker has not been the pitcher the Phillies needed him to be. Meant to take on the role of third or fourth starter, he has somehow managed to have an even worse ERA than Bailey Falter. The difference is Walker is getting paid a lot of money and has managed to somehow go 4-2. In fact, the Phillies are 7-4 when he takes the mound. Why blame him?
It’s the losses which have been most brutal. Walker failed to pitch 5 innings in all four of the games the Phillies lost with him on the mound. He hasn’t been particularly brilliant in his or the team’s wins either. His latest victory against the Braves included 6.2 innings of work but 10 hits allowed. The Phillies won 6-4 in what was a much-needed victory for the team and Walker.
The Phillies needed Walker most during the absence of Ranger Suarez when the rest of the rotation included Falter and Matt Strahm. He failed far too often.
The early impression Walker has given Phillies fans hasn’t been a positive one. While he couldn’t have single-handedly helped them have a record matching or surpassing the Braves, the taxation on the rest of the pitching staff has undoubtedly carried over the next day because of him. How many games have the Phillies lost because of that?