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Game Thread: Taillon takes on Scherzer in rubber match

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

A day after the bullpen coughing up another late inning lead, the Pirates send Jameson Taillon to the mound against the Nationals’ Max Scherzer at 1:35 p.m. Eastern, in a valiant effort to leave Washington with two wins.

Taillon was knocked out of Monday’s game in Chicago early, allowing six unearned runs in a second inning that was a defensive nightmare. Arguably the top arm in the Pirates insurgent starting rotation, his results through three games have lagged a bit beyond his teammates even if objectively rating as quality - as his 3.00 ERA and 1.07 WHIP are worst of the five in the rotation, and his 7.80 strikeouts every nine innings rates above only Trevor Williams.

There’s not much to say about his mound opponent, as everyone should be familiar with Max Freakin’ Scherzer, who in 2015 had only an elbow stand between him and a perfect game against the Bucs. After winning the 2016 and 2017 National League Cy Young Awards failed to do so in 2018 after posting a 2.53 ERA with 300 strikeouts in 33 starts. Scherzer, who hasn’t missed a start in ten seasons, is the quintessential example of how a pitcher can blow away batters with a 94 mph fastball, while mixing in a devastating slider and change. This year, he has a 3.32 ERA in three starts, with 4 walks and 28 strikeouts in 19 innings.

Having used his Sunday lineup on Friday night, after the late arrival from Chicago, this afternoon Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle rolls out the best possible lineup with the men available on the roster.



1 L Adam Frazier 2B

2 R Starling Marte CF

3 R Francisco Cervelli C

4 S Josh Bell 1B

5 L Colin Moran 3B

6 S Melky Cabrera RF

7 L Jason Martin LF

8 R Erik Gonzalez SS

9 R Jameson Taillon RHP



1 L Adam Eaton RF

2 R Howie Kendrick 2B

3 R Anthony Rendon 3B

4 L Juan Soto LF

5 R Ryan Zimmerman 1B

6 R Yan Gomes C

7 S Wilmer Difo SS

8 R Max Scherzer RHP

9 R Michael A. Taylor CF