Taillon Readies For Opening Day

'Feels like it is real and around the corner'

Jeff Hathhorn
March 17, 2019 - 6:04 pm

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BRADENTON, FL (93.7 the Fan) – Only one more start before it’s for real as Pirates Opening Day starter Jameson Taillon went five innings striking out six in an 8-1 win against the Red Sox Sunday afternoon.

“It’s time to start packing up the place and think about getting on the move here,” Taillon said.

It’s been a different spring for Taillon this year, not just because he’s starting the year as the team’s number one starter, but that he’s only pitched in a pair of Grapefruit League games.

“I was getting a little itchy there when we were facing hitters at Pirate City,” Taillon said.  “I felt like everyone was having fun without us over here.  Now that I get to be in there and compete with the guys, it definitely feels like it is real and around the corner.”

Taillon said he felt a little anxious in his first start, but has settled in and is starting to turn lineups over and employ more strategy.  The 27-year-old righty says he was able to refine his pitches before he ever faced a real opponent.

“By the time I got over here, pitching in real games, there was nothing else I was work on too much.  It was more go time.  I got to develop my pitches and make sure everything was good and then once I felt ready, I got to come here.”

“I like the fact of the build-up,” said manager Clint Hurdle.  “I like the way we were able to get feedback.  I like the fact that we were able to work on secondary pitches without negative ramifications.  How it will affect them moving forward, only time will tell.”

Taillon even had his first hit of the spring on Sunday, grounding a pitch up the middle for a two-strike RBI single.

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“A lot of pitchers that stick around for a while figure out something to compete at the plate,” said Taillon, who hit .070 last season.  “After struggling all last year as a whole staff, I think we were taking it upon ourselves to do take some pride in it.”

Taillon will make a two or three inning appearance later this week and then his next outing is Opening Day next Thursday in Cincinnati.

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