Pittsburgh Pirates Spoil Jameson Taillon’s PNC Park Return in 5-2 Victory

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 05: David Bednar #51 celebrates with Jack Suwinski #65 of the Pittsburgh Pirates after a 5-2 win over the New York Yankees at PNC Park on July 5, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 05: David Bednar #51 celebrates with Jack Suwinski #65 of the Pittsburgh Pirates after a 5-2 win over the New York Yankees at PNC Park on July 5, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

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The Pittsburgh Pirates continue their mastery of baseball’s biggest payrolls by defeating the New York Yankees on Tuesday night

Tuesday night the Pittsburgh Pirates kicked off a two-game series at PNC Park against the New York Yankees. It was Bill Mzaeroski night at the ballpark as the 1960 World Series hero threw out the first pitch on bis bobblehead night. Facing the team Mzaeroski hit the greatest home run in baseball history against, the Pirates defeated the Yankees 5-3 to improve to 33-47 on the season.

The victory came in front of a sellout crowd of 37,733. Entering the game the Yankees had the best record in baseball and were on a pace that would set a new MLB record for wins in a single season.

Earlier this season the Pirates went to Dodger Stadium with the Dodgers owning the best record in baseball and picked up a sweep. Against the Dodgers and Yankees, who have the first and third largest payrolls in all of baseball, the Pirates are now 6-1 on the season. Those big payroll clubs better hope and pray the Pittsburgh Pirates do not make the postseason!

José Quintana continues to roll along

Throughout the season veteran lefty José Quintana has been the best starting pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Tuesday night that continued as he kept the best offense in all of baseball in check.

Facing a Yankee team that leads all of MLB in runs scored and home runs, Quintana held the Bronx Bombers to just 1 run in 5 innings pitched. He allowed just 6 hits, did not walk a batter struck out 7, and generated a game leading 10 swings-and-misses. Quintana now owns a 3.33 ERA and a 3.37 FIP in 16 starts this season.

The Pirates also picked Quintana up with some terrific outfield defense in the third inning. Gleyber Torres hit a two-out double that Jack Suwinski did a great job of getting to and getting in quickly from the left field, which helped prevent DJ LeMahieu, who was on first base, from scoring.

Giancarlo Stanton then stepped to the plate looking to do what he does best and drive in runs. Stanton hit a ball toward center field that was quickly dropping and appeared would be a 2-run single. However, Bryan Reynolds made a patented diving catch to rob Stanton of a hit and keep the score at 1-0 Pirates.

Quintana was on his game and fired up from the start on Tuesday night. Typically, Quintana is a pitcher who does not show a lot of emotion on the mound. Tuesday night, however, this was not the case as Quintana appeared to be feeding off an electric PNC Park crowd on his way to another strong start.

Pirate offense gets to Jameson Taillon

Jameson Taillon made his return to PNC Park on Tuesday night. In what has been a career year for Taillon, he turned in one of his worst starts of the season. In 5.1 innings pitched, Taillon allowed 5 runs on 6 hits, 2 home runs and 5 strikeouts.

The Pirate scoring started when Daniel Vogelbach led off the 2nd inning with a home run. Vogelbach’s 11th home run of the season made the score 1-0 Pirates, and extended his hitting streak to eight games.

Pirate bats would strike against Taillon again in the bottom of the 4th. After they teamed up for run-saving defense in the 3rd inning, Reynolds and Suwinski teamed up to help the offense in the 4th inning. Reynolds doubled to start the inning and Suwinski followed with his 14th home run of the season, making the score 3-0 Pirates.

It was then time for the players returning from the injured list to make an impact. Yoshi Tsutsugo would single and then come around to score on a Ben Gamel double. This was not it for Tsutsugo and Gamel, either.

With Suwinski on first base following a single, Tsutsugo picked up his second hit of the game with Suwinski advancing to third base. This led to a sacrifice fly by Oneil Cruz, giving him 13 RBI in 15 games this season, making the score 5-1 Pirates.

Pirate bullpen gets the job done

Entering the series it was the Yankees who had the bullpen generating buzz. The Yankee bullpen is arguably the best not just in the American League, but in all of baseball. However, it was the Pirate bullpen that helped seal the win.

Wil Crowe was first up out of the bullpen and quickly pitched a scoreless 6th inning. Although Crowe got into some hot water by allowing a hit and issuing a walk in the 7th inning, in what was arguably the biggest at-bat of the game he got MVP frontrunner Aaron Judge to hit into an inning ending 4-6-3 double play. Judge’s double play came with two runners on base, and the Pirates leading 5-1.

In the 8th inning Derek Shelton went to Duane Underwood Jr. After Underwood Jr. issued a leadoff walk and uncorked a wild pitch things were looking dicey. However, Underwood Jr. was able to right the ship.

Even though the righty would allow a run-scoring hit with two outs to long-time Pirate killer Matt Carpenter, Underwood Jr. got a strikeout to end the inning with the Pirates leading 5-2. Contrary to what many people will say, Underwood Jr., who now owns a 25% strikeout rate and has yet to allow a home run this season, is, indeed, good.

9th inning. Renegade time. Even though David Bednar allowed a one-out single, he would slam the door on the Yankees. This included striking out Judge looking to end the game, giving Bednar his 13th save of the season.

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Mitch Keller (5.14 ERA, 4.04 FIP) is scheduled to start for the Pirates on Wednesday night. Luis Severino (3.35 ERA, 3.65 FIP) is scheduled to toe the rubber for the Yankees. First pitch from PNC Park is scheduled for 7:05 PM ET.