Pittsburgh Pirates Defeat Colorado Rockies In Jameson Taillon’s Return


The Pittsburgh Pirates are now 29-35 this season

No matter how Monday night’s Pittsburgh Pirates game unfolded Jameson Taillon was going to be the story. Just five weeks after having surgery to treat testicular cancer, Taillon made his return to the mound for the Pirates on Monday night.

The way he pitched made Jameson Taillon an even bigger part of the story on Monday night’s game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Colorado Rockies. Jameson Taillon pitched great, the Pirate offense scored plenty of runs, and the Bucs rolled to a 7-2 victory over the team with the best record in the National League.

It did not take Jameson Taillon long to show that he was back to 100 percent. To start the game, he struck out Charlie Blackmon looking with a patented Jameson Taillon curve ball. He also struck out DJ Lemahieu en route to a scoreless top of the 1st inning.

In the bottom of the 1st inning, the Pittsburgh Pirates would quickly get Jameson Taillon a lead. Max Moroff, who started at second base and hit leadoff on Monday night, drew a walk to start the inning. Josh Harrison then blasted his 8th home run of the season to give the Bucs an early 2-0 lead.

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The Pittsburgh lead would grow to 4-0 in the bottom of the 3rd inning. Josh Harrison would reach on a Trevor Story error to start the inning, and then David Freese would drive him home with a 1-out RBI double to make it 3-0 Pirates.

After a Jose Osuna single moved Freese to third base, Andrew McCutchen collected a RBI single. This gave the Pirates a 4-0 lead after 3 innings of play.

The top of the 4th inning was the first time Taillon got into trouble, but he would get out of it unphased. After the first two Colorado hitters of the inning reached, Taillon would record a pop out, a strikeout, and a groundout to end the threat.

The Rockies would once again get a pair of base runners on against Taillon in the 5th. However, once again, Taillon would get out of it with a zero still on the scoreboard.

In his triumphant return to the mound, Jameson Taillon pitched 5 scoreless innings on Monday night. He allowed just 5 hits, walked a pair of hitters, and struck out 5. What made Taillon’s performance even more impressive is that the Colorado Rockies have arguably the best lineup in the National League.

Wade LeBlanc replaced Jameson Taillon in the top of the 6th inning. After retiring the first two batters of the inning, he allowed a double to Ian Desmond and a RBI single to Trevor Story. This cut the Pirate lead to 4-1 heading to the bottom of the 6th inning.

Jun 12, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Max Moroff (62) runs the bases against the Colorado Rockies during the sixth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 12, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Max Moroff (62) runs the bases against the Colorado Rockies during the sixth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

In the bottom of the 6th inning, the Pittsburgh Pirates would get that run right back. Josh Bell would record a pinch-hit single and was replaced on the bases by Max Moroff after a fielder’s choice. Following a Josh Harrison single, Gregory Polanco would drive home Moroff with a hit to left-center field making it 5-1 Pirates.

Ex-closer Tony Watson pitched the top of the 7th inning. Thanks to a double play and a strikeout, he was able to post a zero despite allowing a trio of singles. This was the first time Watson had pitched in a game with a lead since being removed from the closer role.

After a Jose Osuna single, Andrew McCutchen fielder’s choice, Elias Diaz single, and a Jordy Mercer walk the Pirates had the bases loaded with just 1 out in the bottom of the 7th inning. Clint Hurdle called upon John Jaso to pinch-hit, and Bud Black countered by bringing in left-handed reliever Chris Rusin.

John Jaso would put together a fantastic at-bat. After falling behind in the count 0-2, he would rally to draw a bases loaded walk to extend the Pirate lead to 6-1. Max Moroff would then add a sacrifice fly to make it 7-1 Pirates.

Edgar Santana pitched the top of the 8th inning for the Pirates. After striking out the first hitter of the inning, Santana would issue back-to-back walks. However, he would rebound by getting Tony Wolters to hit into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.

Jhan Marinez was given the ball in the top of the 9th inning. Marinez allowed a leadoff double that turned into a run, but he retired the other 3 batters he faced and recorded a pair of strikeouts to close the door.

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Monday night’s victory was definitely a feel good one for the Pirates. It was great to see Jameson Taillon pitch the way he did in his return to the mound after being treated for testicular cancer, and the way the offense and bullpen backed it up made it even better. With the win, the Pirates are now 4 games out of first place in the extremely mediocre National League Central.

Game 2 of this 3 game series is scheduled for 7:05 PM on Tuesday night. Gerrit Cole is scheduled to start for the Pirates, while the Rockies plan to go with Tyler Chatwood. With a win, the Pittsburgh Pirates will capture the series.