Breaking Down Taillon’s Debut

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Jameson Taillon made his highly anticipated ML debut last night in a 6-5 loss against the Mets and pitched a quality start with three runs allowed in 6.0 innings of work.

Let’s break his outing down in a little more depth. Taillon got through the nerves out of the way with a clean 1st inning after allowing a ground ball single to Yoenis Cespedes with two outs. He induced Neil Walker to ground out to himself to end his first ML inning. In the 2nd inning, Taillon allowed two singles, but got Rene Rivera to ground into a double play to end the inning. He recorded his first strikeout in the 3rd inning when he struck out Alejandro De Aza then allowed his first walk to Michael Conforto before getting Cespedes to fly out to center to end the third.

After three scoreless innings, Taillon hit his first trouble in the 4th inning. With two out, Asdrubal Cabrera doubled to left field and then Ty Kelly (who?) belted a two-run home run on a 3-1 fastball that was right down the middle of the plate. It was Kelly’s first home run in the Majors. Taillon only allowed two home runs in 61 innings this season at Triple-A so it was a surprising to see him surrender one to Kelly, a 27-year-old journeyman.

Opposing pitcher Noah Syndergaard led off the 5th inning with a double on a line drive to the gap. He later scored on a sacrifice fly for Taillon’s third run allowed. He came back out for the 6th inning and recorded his first 1-2-3 inning of the night on a fly out, strikeout and pop out. That closed the book on Taillon’s debut with 6.0 innings, six hits, three earned runs, two walks, three strikeouts and one HR on 91 pitches (60 strikes).

Some of the positives I pulled out of this start is that I thought the talent is evident even though he didn’t dominate yesterday (similar to Cole’s debut). He battled back and finished strong with a scoreless 6th inning after allowing three runs in the 4th and 5th innings. I’m sure he would like to have that pitch back to Kelly, but besides the home run and two doubles, the Mets didn’t get much solid contact off Taillon. I don’t think anyone was expecting a CG shutout…then again with Yinzer Nation, who knows they probably were. There’s been a lot of other disaster ML debuts with young prospects (see Jose Berrios from earlier this season), so this start was promising and a good sign of things to come.

The Pirates bullpen of course blew this game as Jared Hughes gave up the lead and then ran out of pitchers and Cory Luebke lost the game in the 10th inning in a 6-5 loss. The Pirates take the series against the Mets despite the loss. They sent Taillon back down after the game and called up Kyle Lobstein to join the team in Colorado for some much-needed help in the bullpen.

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