Jameson Taillon called his start Tuesday night a "merry-go-round" for the Giants. Manager Clint Hurdle described it as a learning experience, typical for a second-year player in the Major Leagues.From any perspective, it was a forgettable night for Taillon and the Pirates as they lost, 11-3, at AT&T Park. Taillon
Jameson Taillon called his start Tuesday night a "merry-go-round" for the Giants. Manager Clint Hurdle described it as a learning experience, typical for a second-year player in the Major Leagues.
From any perspective, it was a forgettable night for Taillon and the Pirates as they lost, 11-3, at AT&T Park. Taillon gave up a career-high 10 runs (nine earned) and did not record an out in the fourth inning. The right-hander's ERA climbed nearly a full run in one night, from 3.08 to 4.03.
Over the past year, Taillon has developed a reputation for working deep into games, quashing opponents' rallies and doing most of his best work with runners on base. But he recorded only one out past the fifth inning in four starts this month, and he couldn't stop the Giants' merry-go-round from spinning Tuesday night.
"It's tough, but I've done it before," Taillon said. "That's part of my job as starting pitcher, to limit the damage and go as deep as I can, to keep making pitches."
The loss dropped the Pirates back below .500. The Brewers and Cubs won Tuesday, so the Bucs will enter Wednesday's series finale at AT&T Park trailing National League Central-leading Milwaukee by 3 1/2 games.
The Giants' offensive outburst came as a surprise following Taillon's strong first inning. He threw seven pitches and got three quick groundouts from Denard Span, Eduardo Nunez and Brandon Belt.
"I don't think you can draw it up much better," Hurdle said.
The Pirates defense did Taillon few favors after that. With two on and nobody out in the second inning, Josh Bell threw a potential double-play ball into left field. Buster Posey scored from second on the play, and Brandon Crawford took second then came around to score on Gorkys Hernandez's groundout.
"It was hesitation and not a firm throw. The ball had way too much air under it to get it over there," Hurdle said of Bell's misplay. "Once the hesitation was made -- Was there an out at first? Another place to go with it? -- that complicated things."
Jose Osuna also struggled in right field, where he is part of a trio filling in for the injured Gregory Polanco. Posey ripped a third-inning RBI double to right-center, out of Osuna's reach. In the fourth, Nunez bashed a two-run double off the right-field wall and Osuna booted the carom, allowing Nunez to advance to third base.
"Those are tough to play," Hurdle said. "You can't practice them. [Osuna] takes balls out there during the day, but how they come off during the game, there's a lot of action out there in that area."
Still, Taillon was not at his best. He allowed a career-high-tying nine hits in a career-low-tying three innings while striking out one batter, also a career low.
The Giants only swung and missed at three of Taillon's 70 pitches. They seemed to be particularly dialed in on Taillon's fastball. According to Statcast™, 12 of the 17 pitches San Francisco put in play were fastballs.
"Every good sinker I threw down, they took. And every bad pitch I missed up, they whacked," Taillon said. "I didn't really execute as consistently as I should. And they seemed to execute getting their swings off on bad pitches.
"Just have to be down. That's where I find I get the weakest contact. That's where I find I get the most ground balls. We'll work on it on the [between-starts] side session."
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.