Jameson Taillon Bounces Back, But Pirates Lose to the Brewers

PITTSBURGH — Jameson Taillon didn’t have a performance that he wanted to walk away from his last time out. After skipping a start, he got a turnaround Monday, but the Pirates lost, 3-0 to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Taillon gave up six runs on eleven hits in 4.2 innings during his last start on Sept. 7. After 11 days away from the mound, he responded well on Monday.

He gave up two runs on six hits, struck out four and walked one in five innings of work. It still wasn’t an efficient outing, with him needing 92 pitches to get through five frames. Manger Clint Hurdle thought the elevated pitch count was due to Taillon not getting some calls early on.

“There was some swing calls that I thought kind of prolonged the first inning,” he said. “When you get that pitch, you could be out of there in 18 pitches. When you don’t get that pitch, it’s 27 pitches. It can carry on.”

Hurdle thought he continued to attack, though, and that it was the kind of performance Taillon could walk away from with his head held high.

“I thought he stayed aggressive,” Hurdle said. “I thought he worked a downhill angle. I thought he hit the bottom of the zone. He elevated when he wanted to. He still threw the power curve. Threw some changeups, one held its plane. The challenge was the overall length of the at-bats, because he only retired three guys with three pitches or less. But he pitched. So, I thought he went out there and gave us a shot to win, for sure.”

With the Pirates having seven starting pitchers in the rotation and looking to get more opportunities for Steven Brault and Tyler Glasnow, it could be about the end of the road for Taillon.

That was definitely on his mind as he finished the game. Here’s more from Taillon on what might be one of his last appearances of 2016.

HE SAID IT

“You’re going to reinforce it. You have to coach it up. It’s something you need to have in your pocket. We’re two runs down, three runs down in two different instances. They’re unacceptable plays at this level. At the end of the day, those aren’t good baseball plays and they aren’t plays that are going to help your team win. They know that after the fact. They need to know that before the fact. Those are the ways we reinforce it and we will talk about.

“Part of this just comes from young men just trying way too hard because we’re not scoring runs. They’re trying to do something they’re not capable of doing. This is the big leagues. People make plays up here. They made plays on us twice. We got shut down at third. We got shut down at second. They’re not good baseball plays.” — Pirates manager Clint Hurdle on Elias Diaz and Gregory Polanco each getting thrown out on the bases.

GAME IN GRAPHS

Taillon’s BABIP has been inflated a good bit in the second half of the season. He addressed it in the video above, saying that he felt he’s gotten some bad breaks while also not being as crisp as he should be. His BABIP was .400 on Monday.

QUICK HITS

***Diaz was quick to acknowledge his baserunning gaffe after the game, and acknowledged that, as Hurdle suggested, the overall struggles of the Pirates offense played a part. The team

The Pirates have currently lost six straight games and 11 of their last 12. In their six-game losing streak, they have scored just nine runs.

“It’s a tough situation,” Diaz said through interpreter Mike Gonzalez. “It’s a tough situation right now and obviously, offensively, we’re struggling. We’re not helping our pitchers out. You feel that pressure. No one wants to put themselves in a situation where make an error. No one wants to put themselves in a situation where they’re going to cause an error. But you do feel that pressure of trying to get some runs in.”

***A.J. Schugel came in with two on and nobody out in the sixth inning and shut down the jam, getting Ryan Braun to ground into a fielder’s choice that got Eric Sogard stuck between third and home. Schugel then struck out Travis Shaw and got Eric Thames to fly out for a 1-2-3 trip through the heart of the Brewers’ order.

“I expect him to, because I know how good of a pitcher he is, but coming off the mound with no outs and runners on, you don’t expect to escape with zero outs,” Taillon said. “That was a nice thing for me, at least. A small victory.”

  • The Pirate pitching staff is prone to giving up the HR. It is like a cancer spreading through the staff. Sure the umps squeeze them more than any other team that I see but hell you can not keep putting the ball down Broadway and expect the hitter to swing through it. The leagues have changed, OBP is out and slugging and K’s are the rule of the day. The Pirates were taught to pitch to the lower part of the plate and the hitters are golfing the balls into the stands. This team is behind the trend line yet again. So sad to watch and they have to be the absolute worst base running team in the majors.

  • Sorry for the negativity folks, but it is very difficult watching this franchise fall apart again knowing that the team has the talent and farm system to be much better than they are showing. This group of players was prepared to see a change in management, and what they got was another 4 years of Cliffy. His BS has a very limited shelf life and this team was not playing well enough for him to deserve any type of extension.

    The franchise needed to show a new, more exciting direction. Joey Cora was the face of that new direction. Cliff Hurdle was good for this franchise at one time, but I think somebody new will have to take it to the next level.

    About 11 years ago the Steelers had that same type of decision to make, and they made the right decision with Mike Tomlin.

    • Clints act has grown old but the real problem is nh and the mediocre talent he has given Clint.

    • Main problem will always be MLB’s inherent unfairness. After that:
      1. Nutting – For not being wealthy enough to compensate for the disadvantage – and for not fighting for equity
      2. Coonelly – For not finding extra money (tv contracts)
      3. NH – For not being consistently better than his peers

      • Rich you might be the smartest guy in here. You hit the nail on the head. “and not fighting for equality” I compare the Pirates to the Penguins. Lemieux was out front a center complaining about the need for a salary cap and arena. Now the NHL was more united on the salary cap front than MLB. But Nutting said zilch in the media about the unfair system during the last labor negotiations. He towed the line while they stuck it to small market clubs again.

      • It’s time to stop the boo hooing about the economic inequalities of baseball. That’s the system. Suck it up, put the big boy pants on and deal with it. It’s too often cited as a crutch for this management group’s inability to succeed. Other teams similarly situated have done a far better job than this management group.

        • Which teams with similar market restraints have really done much better though? Certainly not Oakland, Tampa, Minnesota, Miami or San Diego. Sure you can cite the one example, the Royals, who are about to crater out as an organization when Cain, Moustakas and Hosmer leave this offseason.

    • Talent and farm system. Where? On the major league club you have 4 players who most teams would want. Bell, Cole, Marte and Rivero. In the minors you have Keller, Meadows and Tucker. I’m excluding Cutch because he has only one year left. If they re-sign him I would add him. If Kang comes back, I would add him. I left off Harrison because i think he is solid, but not irreplaceable or does anything special. What you have is a bunch of guys we are all HOPING will end up special. Polanco and Glasnow are the poster children for that hope and despair.

  • Michael Sankovich
    September 19, 2017 1:37 am

    the players obviously want this season over right now. Clubhouse has to feel like a dungeon. Hard to be optimistic about 2018 looking at current roster, talent at upper minor league levels, and lack of funds to spend on impact free agents.

  • Lose, baby, lose!!! I want as high a draft pick as possible.

    • Oakland, San Diego, and Atlanta all have 67 wins and the Pirates, at 68 wins, have now lost 11 of the last 12 since the announcement of Hurdle’s 4 year extension. Vote of No Confidence? How about 16,000 fans? Pitiful.

    • Why??? So Huntington can make another Taillon over Machado type of mistake again??? The Pirates position in the draft order does not really matter. Drafting the right players does. And, in the end, Huntington & his scouting staff have not done that nearly well enough for the Pirates franchise & it’s fans.
      4 more years! Hoka – Hey!

      • Higher draft position gives them more Nutting money to waste next year. That should make any Pirates fan happy. Burning through Nutting’s millions seems like a more important goal than winning games anyway.

  • The walking dead have more life then the Pirates!

    • If Nutting/Huntington/Hurdle fielded a team of zombies I’d sign up for a new credit card and a thousand+ dollars of more debt to buy some season tickets immediately.

  • Enough of Hurdle and NH and Nutting already. They have made Pirates a disgrace again!

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    September 18, 2017 10:48 pm

    Given where this team is in the standings, why is SRod getting so many starts with his .160 average? This team’s FO and field management are clueless and incompetent….and we’re stuck with both for 4 more years….

    • He hasn’t had much of a season. Makes sense to use him instead of the guys that are more worn down.

      • “Makes sense to use him instead of the guys that are more worn down”??? Moroff, Frazier, and Bostick would love to have the opportunity to play, but the Pirates keep finding PT for guys like Rodriguez, Stewart, Freese, and Jaso. If that is what this team is building on for the future, look forward to many more empty seats at games.

        Rodriguez has struck out 29 times in only 82 PA. 35%! The Pirates thought they were getting a bargain for absorbing his remaining $7 mil contract through 2018. The Braves rushed him back to the majors in hopes of finding a sucker – they found one.

        • I’m with Alan on this one.

          Hurdle can only work with what Huntington gives him, and for better or worse the veteran coming back with a $5m guaranteed salary who barely looks like a big leaguer right now is going to take precedent over a Bostick or Moroff or Frazier.

          This trade was just simply inexplicable. Huntington balked at paying Rodriguez what he earned in free agency only to turn around and acquire him *after* a traumatic car crash that shredded his shoulder without even seeing if he could still play? For what? He’d already given up on the season. There was no urgency at all.

          Now we’re left with an obligation without a clear role who’s only offensive tool – ambushing fastballs – has been taken away by a visibly slower bat. Hurdle has no choice but to try and get Rodriguez back to being a productive player.

          • I agree with a lot of that but Hurdle played Rodriguez last year because, in his opinion, he felt he was the best player at the time. This year it seems to be obvious that Rodriguez is struggling physically, but Hurdle is playing him because the team is on the hook for $7 mil? He cannot have it both ways.

            If we can spend time and effort to make Newman, Moroff, or Bostick productive, is that not the more efficient way to go?

    • Moroff and Frazier are two of the few positives in our offense. They should be out there everyday!

    • SeanRod and Freese are going to be on the team next year. Why would they just abandon them?

      I understand being pissed when Jaso starts. But SeanRod and Freese are just as much a part of 2018 as Moroff and Frazier and Osuna.

      • It comes down to intent. What is the intent of the playing time given?

        Freese is 34 years old with 3700 big league PA’s under his belt and more than 450 on the season. Realistically, no amount of work this September is going to change his outlook or ability or skill going into next year. I can understand an argument that would prioritize at bats for a rookie who *doesn’t* have any of those things.

        SeanRod though is basically in the same place as the rookies right now. He’s a mess, and his physical ability has potentially been permanently compromised. He needs to figure out how to be a productive baseball player just as much as Moroff or Frazier or Osuna.

        • oh i totally agree that we aren’t going to find out anything about Freese. I’m just saying that i understand why Hurdle feels the need to put him on the lineup card. The only way to handle this would be Freese getting hurt, or volunteering “guys, i don’t need these last 10 games. Let’s see what Moroff can do instead.”

          Freese has about as much right to playing time right now as McCutchen, who also has 1 year left, and nobody says to not play McCutchen. They probably have to keep playing both.

          We are in total agreement on SeanRod. He needs as many reps as possible.

          • That’s a really good comment, jay.

            • Except i would argue that we should have never traded for SeanRod and his money should have been spent elsewhere. He is hurt, may never get back to last years performance and we have plenty of utility guys. He was brought in to calm the collapse fears which wasn’t going to change.

              • Absolutely, but again, we’re talking about *Hurdle*.

                Trading for Rodriguez at that point is still unfathomable to me, but Hurdle can only deal with what he’s given by Huntington.

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