For awhile Jameson Taillon looked quite good - until he wasn’t, and the Pirates bats made Matt Harvey look like the Dark Knight once again.
There was so much promise in the first inning. A starting pitcher with an ERA of six and a half the last two years. Gregory Polanco’s 110 mph line single. A pair of walks to load the bases. And 30 pitches later, Harvey escaped with a scoreless inning.
Taillon wasn’t as fortunate. Tucker Barnhart had lined a single to right sandwiched between called strike threes to Jose Peraza and Joey Votto. Then Scooter Gennett lofty a lazy fly ball to right center, but Gregory Polanco lost the ball in the lights, or slid in the mud, or something - and Gennett scampered into second base with an RBI double. Instead of strolling to the dugout, Taillon promptly served up another double to Eugenio Suarez to knock in the second run.
Both pitchers settled down after that. In the fourth Colin Moran lofted a shoulder high 0-2 fastball into the seats in right to cut the Reds lead to 2-1 while Taillon had racked up seven K’s through four innings.
Then the wheels came off in the fifth. Just as good as Taillon had looked an inning earlier, striking out the side, suddenly he was awful. Billy Hamilton lined out to center but Jose Peraza’s liner fell in front of Austin Meadows. After Tucker Barnhart’s ground ball double into the right field corner put runners at second and third, Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle decided against pitching to Joey Votto and sent him to first on an intentional walk. The first pitch to Gennett landed well into the right field stands for a grand slam as the Reds broke the game open, 6-2.
Taillon hadn’t hit his pitch target however, so he came back out in the sixth to retire the Reds in order on ten pitches.
In the top of the seventh Austin Meadows yanked a pitch from lefty Amir Garrett into right for his second homer in four games for the Pirates, one more than he had all season for Indianapolis.
George Kontos allowed another run in the seventh, but Tyler Glasnow pitched a dominant eight, with two strikeouts and a routine grounder.
Former Buc Jared Hughes came on in the ninth after Jordy Mercer had singled and promptly got Jose Osuna to bounce into a double play.