Jameson Taillon keeps Yankees’ dominant pitching run going in 2-0 win

Jameson Taillon keeps Yankees’ dominant pitching run going in 2-0 win

Solid pitching has been essential to the Yankees’ incredible start to the season, and the starting rotation in particular has been outstanding. The first two meetings of this four-game series at Tropicana Field brought that fact to light for all to see. It was Nestor Cortes’ show last night, and tonight it was Jameson Taillon’s turn to steal the show. The Rays’ offense was no match for the Yankees’ best arms, and they were stopped again in a 2-0 win at New York.

The tone of the game was set during the first at bat. Aaron Judge received a 0-1 change clearly off the plate which was called a strike. Plate umpire Bruce Dreckman is known to be friendly with pitchers and it’s been shown from the get-go. Taillon and Rays starter Jeffrey Springers rode through the first two innings, with six wins and six losses for both sides.

The first notable action of the evening came at the start of the third. A few struggling hitters, Joey Gallo and Kyle Higashioka had back-to-back hard-hit singles, and the top of the roster had an out. The judge hit in a force in another at bat that saw a clear ball turn into a called strike against him. (The No. 99’s rough night at the plate continued later, as he saw a few more questionable calls go against him in the top of the fifth.)

Then Anthony Rizzo was with riders in second and third place. He was coming off a first-inning plate appearance in which the result wasn’t great with a soft pop-up, but he had seen eight pitches. On Rizzo’s second time at bat, he came this nearly hitting a three-shot bomb, as he charged one that died right against the wall in right field.

You often hear about things that happen in baseball. A batter hits one but finds the wrong spot, then there’s a blooper just around the corner. Something like this happened in tonight’s game.

The Yankees failed to get on the board with the Rizzo fly out, but in the next inning, not one, but two Yankee batters took Springs deep to secure a two-run lead. Gleyber Torres and Matt Carpenter put the road team on the board with a pair of solo shots.

Although Carpenter scored a few runs in last night’s deal, it was his first hit with the Yankees. It was also his first long ball in over a year, as the former cardinal hadn’t gone deep since April 30, 2021.

Meanwhile, Jameson Taillon was very fluid through the first four innings as the Rays didn’t even smell a hit, let alone post any threat to the Yankees starter. The show mentioned the Rays’ comments late in the fifth inning, noting the improved defense at receiver and shortstop for the Yankees. Interestingly enough, both ends of this spectrum would come into play fairly quickly.

Randy Arozarena was the first Rays hitter to reach, he did it on a snap that Isiah Kiner-Falefa would probably say he should have reached, even though he got hit. The reigning Rookie of the Year was quickly erased, however, as Kyle Higashioka made a very clean throw to get him to try to steal second. Taillon then faced the minimum up to five.

Manuel Margot started the sixth inning with a brace over Miguel Andújar’s header in left field, but Taillon got around it with help from Torres. The second baseman caught a ring line in the middle of Mike Zunino.

Springs had a great outing with six two-run innings, striking out six scoreless batters and allowing just five hits. But on a night when Taillon made one of the best outings of his career, the margin for error was non-existent. The Yankees starter stole the show with eight shutout frames, allowing only Tampa’s two hits.

Between Taillon and Cortes, the Yankees starters now have 16 innings pitched against the Rays in this series, and only one earned run allowed. The fact that the only run came through a shaky ninth-inning relief from Wandy Peralta last night makes it all the more impressive.

It’s the first time the Yankees have had consecutive starters in at least eight innings since 2013 when CC Sabathia and Iván Nova accomplished the feat. Clay Holmes came in to close out the ninth inning and quickly knocked out the Rays 1-2-3.

The Yankees have already secured at least one split in this important four-game series, but they will go for the series win and hopefully a sweep with Gerrit Cole and Luis Severino to follow. Cole goes for the Yankees on Saturday against a familiar foe, Corey Kluber. The first pitch will take place at 4:10 p.m. ET back on YES Network.

The score of the box

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