Newcomer Jameson Taillon made his first spring training start for New York on Friday in a 4-2 win against Julio Teheran and the Detroit Tigers. Taillon, who joined New York from Pittsburgh in a deal for right-handed pitcher Roansy Contreras, shortstop Maikol Escotto, left fielder Canaan Smith and right handed pitcher Miguel Yajure, is hoping to break into the third spot in the Yankees’ rotation, and continued his scoreless spring training streak during his two and two thirds of work.
Taillon made a clutch play early on in the first inning when, with one out and a runner on first, Will Castro hit a sharp grounder right back at the mound that was quickly corralled by Taillon and thrown to second to get the lead runner. He would then get future hall-of-famer Miguel Cabrera to fly out to center to end the inning.
The Bronx Bombers got going in the top of the second after a lead off hit by pitch was followed by two quick singles coming from Kyle Higashioka and Mike Tauchman. With the bases loaded and no outs, Thairo Estrada grounded an easy ball back at Teheran who was able to get the force at home. However, in the next at bat, Tyler Wade was able to drive a 3-2 ball deep enough to left to score Higashioka for the first score of the game. Brett Gardner tacked on another run for the Yankees off a single to center before Teheran escaped the inning.
Taillon continued his strong outing in the second and added a couple strikeouts to his performance. He started off with a dominant three pitch strikeout of Niko Goodrum where he went four-seam, changeup, and then another 93 mph four-seam that sent the batter down swinging. Even after allowing a double to catcher Wilson Ramos and a walk, Taillon kept his poise with two outs and two on by retiring JaCoby Jones on another four-seam swinging strikeout.
In third, Taillon found himself in trouble once again after allowing a lead off walk and a single to Jeimer Candelario. This is when Taillon really turned it on. With runners on first and second, Taillon faced off against Castro once more and got him down 0-2 after throwing two nasty sliders. Then, just as he had with the previous two strikeout victims, Taillon went back to the Four-Seam to get Castro swinging on a 1-2 count. A fielding error by first baseman Jay Bruce allowed Cabrera to get to first and load the bases in the next at bat, but Taillon would prove to be poised under pressure as he struck out Goodrum for the second out of the inning.
Feeling satisfied by Taillon’s four strikeout performance, New York went to the bullpen and brought on another Yankee newcomer Addison Russ who came over in last year’s David Hale trade with Philadelphia. Russ did not disappoint despite being thrust into a tough situation, and was able to get Ramos out on a grounder to end the inning.
Detroit showed a lot of fight throughout the contest, but left far too many runners in scoring position. In the bottom of the fifth they pulled within a run when a sacrifice fly from Cabrera to Gardner scored Renato Nunez. Then in the bottom of the sixth, the Yankees brought on non-roster invitee Kyle Barraclough (pronounced “bear-claw”) to pitch the inning and the hopeful invitee almost lost the game for New Yank.
After a lead off pop-up, Barraclough proceeded to load the bases and catcher Eric Haase came up to bat for Detroit with one out. A ball and two called strikes put Haase behind in the count, and after two foul balls off of tantalizing sliders, Barraclough put Haase down with a four-seamer like his counterpart Taillon. Nunez would ground out to end the inning in the next at-bat, preserving the lead for the Yankees.
Nestor Cortes would get the ball in the seventh for the Yankees and sat the side down in order while collecting two strikeouts. He was the fourth newly acquired pitcher to see action in this game, and in total these four pitchers recorded eight of the ten total strikeouts for New York.
Finally, in the eighth the Yanks put the game out of reach with a two-run homer by catcher Rob Brantly to make the score 4-1. Detroit got one back in the ninth, but in the end it wasn’t enough. New York finished the game with four runs, six hits, and one error in what will go down as Taillon’s first (unofficial) win in pinstripes.
(Photo: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
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