On Wednesday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox squared off in a pitcher’s duel
Both Taillon and Sale pitched absolute gems on Wednesday night. The Pirates also played some excellent defense. However, after twelve innings of play, the Pirates came up on the short end of the stick on Wednesday night by a score of 3-0.
In his first start of the season, Jameson Taillon pitched seven brilliant innings. He held the Red Sox to just five hits, he walked three, and he struck out six hitters.
Taillon had Red Sox batters fooled throughout the night. The only time he got himself into trouble was in the fifth inning. However, Taillon did an excellent job of getting out of it.
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In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Red Sox had runners on the corners with no one out. At this point, they appeared primed to take the lead. However, Jameson Taillon had other ideas.
Taillon got back-to-back strikeouts of Pablo Sandoval and newly found Pirate killer Sandy Leon. Then, he got Dustin Pedroia to bounce back to the pitcher’s mound. Taillon tossed the ball to Josh Bell and the inning was over.
On Wednesday night Jameson Taillon’s curveball was absolutely filthy. He paired this with a fastball that hit as high as 97 MPH on the radar gun and a plus changeup. Taillon is primed for a great 2017 campaign.
For as good as Jameson Taillon was on Wednesday night, Chris Sale was just as good if not better. In his Red Sox debut, he held the Bucs scoreless over seven innings pitched. He allowed just three hits, walked one batter, and he struck out seven batters. Sale’s outing on Wednesday reminded everyone why he is one of the best left-handed pitchers in baseball.
The Pittsburgh Pirates also played some great defense on Wednesday night. In the third inning, Andrew McCutchen threw out catcher Sandy Leon at the plate. Then in the fourth inning, he made a catch with his back against the wall in right field to take a home run away from Mitch Moreland. The Pirates also turned a pair of double plays behind Taillon on Wednesday night.
In the third inning, Andrew McCutchen threw out catcher Sandy Leon at the plate. Then in the fourth inning, he made a catch with his back against the wall in right field to take a home run away from Mitch Moreland.
Furthermore, Francisco Cervelli had a strong night behind the plate. He made a great pick and applied the tag on McCutchen’s outfield assist. He also kept a wild pitch by Taillon in front of him enough to prevent Chris Young from scoring from third base in the fifth inning.
The Pirates also turned a pair of double plays behind Taillon on Tuesday night, while David Freese made a pair of top-notch plays at third base to take hits away from Boston hitters. On Wednesday night, the Pirates more than made up for their defensive follies in game one of this series.
Well, at least until the 12th inning. But we’ll get to that later.
Following Jameson Taillon, Daniel Hudson and Felipe Rivero would each pitch a 1-2-3 inning out of the Pirate bullpen. Tony Watson had to work around a pair of singles and a walk, but he pitched a scoreless 10th inning.
Juan Nicasio pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the 11th inning. This included a pair of strikeouts. In the bottom of the 12th inning Antonio Bastardo would take over for the Bucs, and this is where things came unglued.
To start the inning Bastardo got Chris Young to fly out to center field. He would then issue a one-out walk to Jackie Bradley Jr. Bastardo then picked Bradley Jr. off at first base, however, Phil Gosselin would throw the ball away allowing Bradley to be safe at second base.
After this, Pablo Sandoval would draw a walk. This was followed by a walk-off three-run home run by the aforementioned new Pirate killer Sandy ‘the bunt god’ Leon. As a result, the Red Sox were 3-0 victors.
A big sequence in this game came in the top of the ninth. Jordy Mercer reached to lead off the inning on an error by Pablo Sandoval. After this, Clint Hurdle would make a terrible managerial decision.
Having position players sacrifice bunt is never smart. It is doubly not smart when it is your best hitter who is doing the sacrifice bunting. Well, that is exactly what Hurdle and the Pirates did. Starling Marte attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt, popped it straight up in the air, and it was caught for the first out of the inning.
Having Marte bunt in that situation was not smart and may have cost the Pirates a run(s) and possibly the game.
The third and final game of the Pirates’ season-opening series will be played at Fenway Park tomorrow afternoon. Eduardo Rodriguez will start for the Red Sox, while Clint Hurdle gives the ball to Chad Kuhl. Both pitchers will be making their 2017 debut.
First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 PM.