Taillon Sees Brighter Future

Pirates ace believes slider is evolving

Josh Rowntree
May 27, 2018 - 8:58 pm
Jameson Taillon

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 the Fan) - Jameson Taillon had not recorded an out in the seventh inning since his complete game, one-hitter against Cincinnati on April 8. 

But, on Sunday at PNC Park, the Pirates righty allowed just three runs on five hits, leaving the game with one out in the seventh. 

The Pirates, however, lost the game 6-4 after the bullpen squandered a 4-1 lead. 

Taillon fed off his last start in which is have up six runs, including a grand slam. But he felt as if he pitched fairly well. 

“You don’t ever want to give up six, but I thought I did a lot of really good things in that game,” Taillon said. "I had a good (week) in between starts, kind of built off of what I learned and what I saw in the last start and carried it in.”

Taillon liberally used the slider, which is a new pitch in his arsenal this season. 

“The idea when I introduced that pitch was to have it be something that can take pressure off my fastball,” he said. "I was hoping that one day it would morph into a strikeout pitch.”

Of his six strikeouts on the day, Taillon got five via the slider. One was looking, the rest swinging. 

“Obviously, I’d love to have all four pitches working every time,” he said. "But those are the special days and you don’t have too many of those."

Taillon is scheduled to face St. Louis again Friday at Busch Stadium. So, he will find out quickly how fast big league hitters have adjusted to the slider.

“It’s something that, I think, no matter how many times a team sees me, it can be effective,” he said of the slider. "I do face them again in five days, so I have to be careful with pitch selection and usage.”

Clint Hurdle agreed that the first time seeing Taillon’s newest pitch can be a challenge.

“They haven’t seen it, number one,” he said. "Number two, they really don’t have any experience on looking at it or feeling it at the plate. It’s a new weapon.” 

Taillon exited the game after a pair of one-out hits in the seventh. When he left, Edgar Santana allowed a two-run single to Jedd Gyorko that pulled the Cardinals closer. Pirates pitchers Michael Feliz and Felipe Vázquez combined to allow seven baserunners and three runs. 

“I felt pretty good still, but I obviously understand too that part of the lineup has seen me a couple of times and Santana has been really good lately,” Taillon said of leaving after just 85 pitches. "It’s easy to question when it doesn’t work.”