Just a few days after getting swept by the Reds, the Pirates (6-6) came into Chicago and swept the reigning MLB Champions this weekend. Today featured another fine outing by Jameson Taillon who went 7 strong innings and threw 108 pitches to give him a career high. He allowed only one unearned run while allowing seven hits, three walks, and striking out six. Jameson was feeling his curveball today as he struck out all six batters with it.
Jon Lester was also pitching quite well today. After a shaky first inning where he threw 24 pitches and allowed two baserunners on, he settled nicely throwing seven shutout innings while striking out three. He allowed just three more baserunners after the first to total 5 for the game.
The offense was virtually non existent, which has been a theme this year when Taillon has pitched. It wasn’t until Koji Uehara entered the game in the 8th and gave up two runs without recording an out. It started with a walk to John Jaso, a double from Adam Frazier, and then walking Josh Bell to load the bases. Jordy Mercer then came up to bat to hit a bloop single in center that would score Jaso. After Starling Marte struck out, Andrew McCutchen hit a fielder’s choice to score Alen Hanson. Finally, David Freese would fly out to Jason Heyward who had a bad throw to home which was mishandled by Willson Contreras. With the ball escaping, Jordy Mercer took off for home and scored easily.
With the lead fairly in tact, the Buccos did something they also seem to fail to do – score insurance runs. With Justin Grimm now in to pitch, he hit Josh Harrison and then walked John Jaso. Adam Frazier then took a 1-0 95 MPH fastball 432 feet to dead center to give the Pirates their 6th and final run of the contest.
Felipe Rivero and Wade LeBlanc finished out the game with clean innings as well. Making his ninth appearance this year, Rivero now has a 1.13 ERA and has seven punch outs compared to only one walk. He reached 99 MPH on a few occasions and has looked like our best reliever this season. LeBlanc continued his streak of not recording a walk…or a strikeout all season. In 7.2 innings, he has not recording either of the two, though he has allowed just four hits.
With Andrew McCutchen’s triple in the first inning, he now holds a seven game hit streak with four extra base hits in that span. Adam Frazier raised his batting average to .343 today while recording three hits and his on base percentage to .428. Jameson Taillon lowers his season ERA to a 0.90 and was awarded with his first win of the season, though who really cares about that outdated stat?
The Pirates will begin their three game series verse the Cardinals tomorrow at Busch Stadium. Ivan Nova will take the mound against Lance Lynn at 7:05 PM.