Taijuan Walker “Blows hot” after he makes a slick behind-the-back catch in his Phillies season debut.

Taijuan Walker made an electrifying return to the mound for the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday, showcasing a remarkable behind-the-back catch of Padres rookie Jackson Merrill’s line drive to kick off a double play in the second inning.

Merrill’s hit came back at the mound on a curveball, and Walker, a right-hander, instinctively turned and reached behind his back to snag the ball. In a swift motion, he then doubled Xander Bogaerts off first base. Merrill appeared baffled as he removed his helmet and retreated to the dugout.

Walker, reflecting on the play after securing the win in Philadelphia’s 8-6 victory and completing their first road sweep of the season, remarked, “Honestly, I just reacted. I put my glove behind my back, and it found my glove, I guess. I didn’t have time to turn and get it, so I just kind of stuck my glove there, and I was just as surprised as everyone else that it was in there. It was a good play. It was a double play. Double plays are always good.”

Manager Rob Thomson chimed in, saying, “That was something, wasn’t it? I’ve never seen that before.”

Walker, who was making his season debut after starting the season on the injured list with right shoulder soreness, faced challenges throughout the game. He was chased by pinch-hitter Luis Campusano’s three-run homer in the seventh inning, which narrowed the Phillies’ lead to 7-6. Additionally, Walker surrendered Jake Cronenworth’s two-run shot in the third. Despite allowing six runs and eight hits, he managed to strike out four and walk two.

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