SAN FRANCISCO — After the best game of Walker Lockett’s young major-league career — five innings, one run in the Mets’ 11-4 victory over the Giants — he had to pause before conducting his postgame interview Saturday.
“Let me make sure I don’t have anything in my ears,” Lockett said.
Lockett’s hygiene concerns were fair. The Mets had just marked his first win with what the rookie righthander called “a pretty eventful shower,” their go-to celebration for such personal accomplishments. They stuffed Lockett into a laundry cart, wheeled him into the showers and doused him with beer, shaving cream, ketchup, mayonnaise and “maybe baby powder,” Pete Alonso said.
“You definitely gotta make it memorable for him,” Dominic Smith said. “That’s just a little kid stuff you have to do to keep this long season light and keep everybody grinding together. It makes everything a lot more fun.”
Lockett, 25, excelled in place of an injured Zack Wheeler, cruising through five innings on only 58 pitches. He walked none and struck out three, leaning heavily on his breaking ball.
“I attacked and was able to get quick outs, get through the fifth pretty quick,” said Lockett, acquired in January from the Indians for Kevin Plawecki. “It feels good, man. Especially after having some not-so-good starts and OK starts.”
Lockett was impressive enough Saturday that manager Mickey Callaway described him as “a long-term option at the back end” of the rotation.
“He throws strikes, he’s a competitor, he’s very comfortable out there,” Callaway said. “You don’t see a lot of nerves. You don’t see the typical ‘oh, I’m trying to stay up here in the big leagues’-type mentality. You see a guy that has confidence in his stuff, and he has some plus weapons to get guys out with.”