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PHILADELPHIA — David Peterson’s first appearance of 2022 lasted longer than either starting pitcher did on Monday night. It’s unclear, though, if he’ll end up in the starting rotation himself after what transpired on Monday.
That would seem to be a possibility if Taijuan Walker’s injury — he left the game with what the team deemed right shoulder irritation — ends up being serious enough to miss a start. The Mets are already down one starting pitcher, Jacob deGrom, who has been spelled in the rotation by Tylor Megill.
The good news for the Mets: Peterson looked in control through the four scoreless innings he pitched against the Phillies, giving up just three hits and keeping the game firmly in the visiting team’s hands, before the bullpen collapsed in an eventual 5-4 loss.
“If we’d have won that game,” manager Buck Showalter said afterward, “it would have been on Pete’s shoulders.”
After Walker had set down the Phillies in order for each of the first two innings, it looked as though Peterson, who struggled in 2021 with a 5.54 ERA, was being given a tough assignment in facing a deep lineup that boasts Kyle Schwarber, J.T. Realmuto and Bryce Harper as its top three hitters. But Peterson struck out Schwarber swinging to end his first inning and was largely on cruise control from there. He would strike out Schwarber a second time before his night was over, this time on a fastball looking, then got Harper to swing through a slider to finish a 1-2-3 sixth.
“Everything felt good tonight with my stuff,” Peterson said. “Being able to execute. Working with James [McCann] back there right away, felt like we were just on the same page. Having a great defense like that, it’s easy to pitch to hitters and let the defense take care of it.”
On a night where Trevor May also left the game with injury and the bullpen fell apart, Peterson was one of the only things to go right on the mound.
Walker and May will both get MRIs on Tuesday, though they and Showalter seemed optimistic that the injuries weren’t too serious.
Peterson, who struggled in two spring training appearances, carries his own injury history, as well as a less-than-inspiring record from last season. He originally didn’t make the team out of spring training, though that feels long in the past just five games into the regular season.
“If you let not making the team out of spring training get to you, you’re not gonna be ready when it’s your time,” Peterson said. “So for me, just keep going about my work every single day. Treating it like a normal day.”