Jameson Taillon has watched the New York Yankees pitchers fare well the first time through the rotation on the 2021 season.
On Wednesday, Taillon gets his turn. He will make his first start in nearly two years when the Yankees seek their 13th straight home victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
“It’s kind of one big multi-year buildup, so I’m excited,” Taillon said Tuesday afternoon. “Watching the guys go one turn through the rotation, what’s five more days to add to the wait.”
New York enters Taillon’s debut with a major-league leading 1.76 ERA. The Yankees have allowed three runs or less in the first five games of the season for the first time since 1992.
Taillon is taking the mound after Gerrit Cole struck out 13 in seven dominating innings as the Yankees rolled to a 7-2 victory Tuesday night.
Taillon hasn’t pitched since May 1, 2019, and he underwent a second Tommy John surgery as well as flexor tendon repair surgery on Aug. 13, 2019. The Yankees acquired him from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Jan. 24, shortly before they signed Corey Kluber to a one-year deal.
Taillon, the second overall pick in the 2010 draft by Pittsburgh, owns a career record of 29-24 with a 3.67 ERA in 82 starts. He was 2-3 with a 4.10 ERA in seven starts in 2019 before getting hurt. In his last healthy season in 2018, Taillon was 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 32 starts when he fanned 179 in 191 innings.
“For being a 29-year-old, I’ve had injuries, but I do feel like I’ve got a lot of great innings ahead,” the 6-foot-5 right-hander said. “I feel like outside of the elbow, I feel like my arm’s got a ton left to give. I’ve saved a lot of innings on the body too over the years.”
Aside from pitching at Yankee Stadium for the first time, the right-hander also will be making his first career start against Baltimore.
Baltimore’s 12-game skid at Yankee Stadium matches its longest skid in franchise history, equaling the mark set by the St. Louis Browns from Aug. 20, 1926-Sept. 10, 1927. (The Browns moved to Orioles after the 1953 season.)
The Orioles have been outscored 76-30 and outhomered 24-12 since their last victory in New York. Their only offense in this series was a ninth-inning two-run.
John Means, the winning pitcher in Baltimore’s most recent win in New York on March 31, 2019, will look to follow up an impressive season debut.
On Friday in Boston, the left-hander allowed one hit in seven dominating innings during a 3-0 win. He matched a career high with seven innings and also allowed one run or less for the fifth straight outing dating to last season.
“Probably, yeah. Probably to this point,” Means said when asked if it was the best start of his career. “Maybe not the most dominating, but as far as just getting through, the efficiency and everything, yeah, that might be one of the best starts I’ve had.”
Overall, Means is 1-2 with a 7.17 ERA in seven career appearances (four starts) against the Yankees.
–Field Level Media