There Was No Doubt About It

A Pittsburgh Pirates Blog

Pirates at Cubs: Taillon For the Save

06.19.16 Posted by

Taillon vs. Hendricks, 8:05 PM

I doubt I’m alone in saying this game, in and of itself, has little meaning for me. We can’t beat the Cubs, the division deficit is massive, and at this point we’re playing for another Wild Card game. The Wild Card game started the year (and last year, for that matter) as the frustrating fallback to our failure to win a division, and suddenly it’s something we have to aspire to again.

What today’s game does do, though, is give us a little look at what things might be like next year. At this point it seems fairly likely Jameson Taillon will stick in the majors, at least for a bit. And it’s easy to envision a 2017 where Cole and Taillon start tag-teaming opponents the way Arietta and Lester have this year. Throw in a little normal pitching regression, another year of maturity for Gregory Polanco, and it should be a different story. But that’s next year. This year, and today, we’re reduced to simply caring about how this young pitcher does, because we’ve already reached an unfortunate point in the season where the development of individual players (especially this one) matters more than the outcome of the game. It is a familiar feeling for any long-time Pirate fan.

Taillon draws Kyle Hendricks, the black sheep of the Cub rotation which his bloated 3.05 ERA. Like every Cubs starter he’s outpitching his peripherals. It’d be nice to get those numbers back in line, and for Taillon to do to the Cubs what Cole did to them the last time we finished a three-game set.

First pitch is at 8:15 PM.

Filed under: game preview, Jameson Taillon