Jameson Taillon Continues Recent Struggles in Pirates Loss to the Dodgers

PITTSBURGH — Jameson Taillon set a career high in walks and labored through five innings, while giving up five runs on five hits as the Pirates lost, 6-5, to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

Taillon wasn’t sharp from the beginning, as Chris Taylor doubled and scored to lead off the game. The Dodgers followed that up with a two-run second that was aided by uncharacteristic back-to-back walks. Two more walks in the fourth added yet another run and Taillon finished with a career-high five.

It’s a development worth monitoring for Taillon, who has scuffled overall since the All-Star break. In eight second-half starts, he’s given up 37 runs in 39.1 innings for an 8.47 RA/9. He had a 2.87 RA/9 in the first half of the season.

Despite Taillon’s rough outing, the Pirates came back to tie it with five runs in the third inning. Starling Marte hit a two-run home run and Josh Harrison added on with a bases-loaded double that nearly cleared the Clemente Wall.

The Pirates’ revamped bullpen couldn’t hold onto the tie for very long. Johnny Barbato gave up a run in the sixth and Edgar Santana served up a two-run home run to Yasmani Grandal in the seventh.

Here’s more from Taillon on his lack of command and overall tough night against the NL’s best club.

HE SAID IT

““When you win as many games as they have, you look a little taller. You walk a little taller. When you can have Adrian Gonzalez at seventh in your lineup, it pretty much sums it up for me from what I’ve seen over the last seven years. The guy got his 2,000th career hit tonight.”

— Pirates manager Clint Hurdle on the Dodgers’ lineup.

GAME IN GRAPHS

Taillon didn’t get a lot of love for his low-ball offerings from either the Dodgers or home-plate umpire Quinn Wolcott. That left him with an uncharacteristically high number of balls, which in turn led to hitter’s counts and walks. Taillon throws low out of the zone frequently, but not many teams take them as well or as often as the Dodgers did.

QUICK HITS

***In Johnny Barbato’s last outing against the Syracuse Chiefs, he faced Zach Collier, Irving Falu and Neftali Soto. Against the Dodgers on Tuesday, he faced Adrian Gonzalez, Chris Taylor, Corey Seager and Justin Turner. That’s quite a turnaround.

“It’s obviously tough,” Barbato said. “But, you still have to go out there and make your pitches. When I needed to make my pitches, I didn’t make pitches.”

***Steven Brault got loose in the fourth inning in case Taillon couldn’t get out of it clean. Hurdle said Brault figures to be used as a multiple-inning option out of the bullpen. That’s something the Pirates haven’t really had since Trevor Williams moved into the rotation back in May.

“(Our bullpen) has been a little bit stressed recently, so I think we’re still figuring out what we’re going to be doing,” Brault said. He added that he doesn’t mind pitching one inning at a time, either, but that it requires a change in mindset, and that’s something he’s still mastering.

“I think if the relief is going to be a one-inning thing and I know that, (my approach might change),” he said. “That’s what we’re trying to roll over and trying to stay in that reliever mentality for as long as I’m out there.”

***The other thing Brault will have to get used to is getting hot and not getting into games, as he did on Tuesday. That could be big, as he’ll be needed to help protect a still-vulnerable bullpen if Trevor Williams or Chad Kuhl exits early the next two days.

“We’re looking to get him out and get volume and get him pitches,” Hurdle said. “I hope the opportunity doesn’t present itself, but that’s kind of why he’s here, to pick up a short starter.”

  • I surrender. Here is a thought, since the starting pitching staff all look no better then 3’s at this point, when September comes I would flip them with the AAA staff and lets see what they can do. This staff starting with Cole is in disarray and I can not see it improving. So what’s to lose? Season is already over.

  • What in the world is this talk about firing/relieving Clint Hurdle? He’s not responsible for the so-so player policies of Nutting & the front office! Replacing him with Prince or Cora gets us nothing! Keep all those guys but let’s get some new spending/drafting/free agent policies Bob Nutting! This one ain’t working ‘cept for the (now flukey) 98 win season!!!

  • Manny Machado! I know of another person who post regularly on this site that also was upset with not drafting him. He has a bumble bee moniker. But if you want to have a disgustingly bad remaining summer look at who we chose with out first pick and what we left on the table! If Huntington worked for me he would be jettisoned faster than the Admiral. Give me incompetence but don’t include arrogance. Clean house and bring in a new staff.

  • Well, you can use whatever expression you want, either “Elvis has left the building”, or “The Fat Lady Has Sung”, but this pathetic season is done and over. This team is in desperate, may I repeat, desperate, need of overhaul, and I say that observing from Australia and not following closely, and as a longtime (since 1960!) Pirates’ loyalist. I do not fault Jameson at all, he has been the best story for the Pirates this year, coming back so quickly from cancer. And Cutch’s comeback was inspiring too. But they have serious, serious questions about where to go from here. They are “stuck n the middle”, not in tear down but wiithout enough talent overall to compete with the Dodgers, Cubs, Nats, D-backs and Rockies, let alone the Cards and Brewers. I do not see high-level impact players on the horizon save for maybe Meadows, maybe Glasnow, and maybe Keller (later on, further away), and the “next Cutch” doesn’t appear anywhere to be seen, with Marte and Polanco now looking like disappointments. I recall Tim had written that the Pirates had talent in the pipeline to be competitive for years beyond 2015. What happened, where is help coming from? With this ownership, it sure ain’t from free agency,. I think they need to examine their philosophy and play much more aggressively but they don’t seem to have the talent to do it. And the approach of drafting “hitters” who have little power (“gap to gap”) doesn’t seem to be working. By the way, was Will Craig a total bust as a No. 1?

    • Well I respect Taillion’s battle with cancer and perhaps that is a contributing factor to his poor performance, but he has been terrible since the All-Star break. Considering that a few of us thought Cole, Taillion, and Nova might be a very solid 3/5 of a rotation, the fact that they have pretty much fallen on their faces (Cole has been “ok” but not a difference maker) in the 2nd half goes a long way toward explaining the dismal baseball we have been watching. NH has his work cut out for him on figuring out how to “move forward” with the ’18 club.

    • Disagree about Marte and Polanco “now looking like disappointments”. Polanco has had a rough year, but at age 25, he is one of 3 or 4 young players that will be building blocks for the future. If Marte re-discovers his power stroke and is able to be a 15-25 HR guy, he has a home in the middle of the order – Polanco, Bell, Osuna, Meadows, Marte?

      I would say the Pirates have to make the move to relieve Hurdle of his duties and promote Joey Cora to Manager sometime in the next few days – give him the chance to start building his coaching staff now rather than after the season ends. Keep Ray Searage and as the minors seasons end, he could have the chance to bring in a few specialists like Kevin Riggs who was his hitting coach at AA last year.

      • Isn’t Tom Prince the next manager?

        • I doubt it. Cora was hired to be the next Manager and did a fine job at Altoona last year. Multilingual native of Puerto Rico, College at Vanderbilt, and studied under Ozzie Guillen at the school of how to manage.

        • Jimmy Leyland!

      • Polanco sucks, he should have been traded at the hype of his prospect level. He cant field, hits weak ground balls 85% of the time and gets hurt every other day.

        • I imagine that is all supported by facts? Weak GB’s 85% of the time? I know he can frustrate the hell out of us, but just keep thinking 25 . . 25 . . 25.

        • Most of these chooch prospect should have been sent in their prime for MLB players and I bet we would have won a WS

    • Too early to call will craig “total bust” but he does look like a poor pick.

      • Of the ’16 college bats drafted in the first round, only Craig and Corey Ray have yet to reach AA (Kyle Lewis suffered massive knee injury after being drafted).

        Craig’s second half OPS has plummeted to .686, and on the year he’s only posted and OPS over .750 in one month. He’s also down to a .666 OPS against RHP.

        I still like the swing mechanics and control of of the strike zone, but there’s little to nothing in his performance that makes you think he’ll be one of the rare college RH 1B-only bats to work out.

        • But FSL! Or so I hear. .316 slugging vs righties. Wow

          • I don’t know if you caught my post the other day, but I’ve been looking into the FSL thing a lot this summer and am more and more convinced the manner in which it’s used to excuse poor performance for what are supposed to be power hitting prospects is a massive red herring.

            Does the FSL suppress power? Absolutely! But when you break your analysis down to guys who are actually supposed to be power hitters you find that almost all of them still produce power. Reduced levels, yes, but you don’t see power hitters putting up ISOs around .100. Using FSL as a reason for why a marginal power prospect like Ke’Bryan Hayes is posting sub-.100 ISOs makes sense; he’s only a handful of homers and extra base hits away from ~.150 ISO you’d hope to get out of him at peak.

            But a “true” power hitter like Craig sitting at .108? That’s not about the atmosphere, man. You’re gonna have to dig a lot deeper in order to get him to where he needs to be.

    • The Australian pirate fan contingent is in complete agreement. I love the team, remember the 1970s of my boyhood well. They are in a tough spot, because they don’t even have super valuable assets to move at this point. I guess the just have to hope for massive across the board improvement in 2018. This is not impossible to imagine, if unlikely. They need a change of approach on ‘mental errors’ though. They need accountability there.

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