Jameson Taillon got the start for Team Canada against Team USA in a crucial game. He was on a 65 pitch limit due to WBC restrictions on each pitcher. The winner of this game advances to the second round, the loser goes home. Taillon started the first inning with a ground out from Jimmy Rollins. He was throwing 95 MPH early, throwing mostly fastballs as the shadows in front of home plate gave the pitchers a huge advantage. Taillon got a quick fly out from Brandon Phillips for the second out before allowing a first-pitch single to Ryan Braun, who then stole second with Joe Mauer up. Taillon got a hard grounder to 2B from Mauer to end the inning, using 13 pitches to get through one.
In the second inning, Taillon gave up a lead-off double to David Wright. He had a little bad luck on the next batter, getting a high infield pop up that was dropped by third baseman Taylor Green. The runners moved to second and third on a sacrifice bunt from Adam Jones. Eric Hosmer grounded out to third base for the second out, which was David Wright at home plate. Taillon got out of the inning with no runs allowed after another ground out from Shane Victorino. He needed just 11 pitches in the second, the last one hit 96 MPH on the radar gun.
Looking good on his pitch count after two, Taillon came out for the third with a 2-0 lead. Facing Jimmy Rollins again, on three pitches, he recorded his first strikeout. Taillon then retired Brandon Phillips on a one-pitch ground out. He got through the inning facing the minimum, striking out Ryan Braun looking on a nasty 3-2 curveball. He used 11 pitches again and looked real good battling back from a 3-0 count to Braun.
In the fourth inning, Taillon allowed a hard single to right field by Joe Mauer to lead off the inning. David Wright then drew a walk on six pitches. The US got on the board on the next play as Ben Zobist laid down a sac bunt that was thrown away by Taylor Green. It put runners on the corners with no outs and Adam Jones up, who then tied the game with a sacrifice fly. Eric Hosmer lined out to left field for the second out. Taillon struck out Shane Victorino to end the inning, using 17 pitches total, 52 for the game. Zobrist, Jones and Hosmer each saw one pitch in their AB.
Taillon’s final line was four innings, one earned run, four hits, one walk and he struck out three batters. He threw 34 of those 52 pitches for strikes and had an effective curveball working all game. He was sitting 93-95 MPH early, hitting 96 and in the fourth inning, he was sitting 92-94 MPH.
Results from this game, along with notes on Wandy Rodriguez’s start for the Dominican Republic, will be posted tonight.