The Yankees win 2-1 as Jameson Taillon makes a perfect play for eighth


The Yankees win 2-1 as Jameson Taillon makes a perfect play for eighth

This was one of the most impressive pitching performances I’ve seen in my 27 years as a Yankees fan (yes, I was born a fan, don’t question that). Corey Kluber’s no-hitter and Gerrit Cole’s total game masterpiece in Houston are the recent top lists. However, given all that Jameson Taillon has been through in his career, putting a perfect play bid into the eighth inning on Lou Gehrig’s day is right up there with the best of them. Thanks to a late rally capped by a pinch-hit, two-out, two-strike, pinch-hit single by Anthony Rizzo driving in two heats, Taillon’s feat was preserved in a 2-1 win.

While the Yankees were able to jump on Shohei Ohtani early and often in the first game and brought the superstar out of his outing with three solo homers in the fourth, the same could not be said against Reid Detmers. They squandered a pair of golden opportunities in the second and third, fielding the first two runners in each inning only for the following batsmen to hit wasted pitches and fail to cash in runs.

Home plate umpire Clint Vondrak (a call from the minors) did his part to help the sluggish Yankees at the plate by pressing Detmers at the top of the zone all night.

Though the Yankees didn’t capitalize on the beneficial counts those missed calls brought, they at least drove Detmers out of the game with an out in the fifth. The rookie’s pitch count had already skyrocketed to 86, so Jimmy Herget came on with relief.

In that inning, it looked like the Yankees were finally going to break through, with Marwin leading Gonzalez with one hustle twice while Mike Trout dallyed and threw the ball back into the infield. Aaron Judge then followed up with a one out walk. However, neither Gleyber Torres nor Miguel Andújar were able to prevail.

Games of this nature usually have scintillating defensive play to keep up the supply and this one didn’t disappoint. With an out in the seventh, Ohtani seared a grounder down the middle. However, Isiah Kiner-Falefa reached over, gloved it and made a precise throw on the run to pass one of the league’s fastest baserunners by a half step.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and unfortunately that end came before the ninth inning had even arrived. Jared Walsh, leading from the top of the eight, hit a sharp grounder to the left that just bounced off the glove of a diving IKF, allowing Walsh to move into second and the perfect game and the no-hit to interrupt the bid. The Angels would take the lead later that inning with a two-out from Kurt Suzuki, but that was all Taillon would give up on his outing.

Watching the development of pitcher Jameson Taillon since he joined the Yankees has been a truly rewarding experience. Aided particularly by a cutter he added this season, I think Taillon really embodies the art of throwing, filling in the hitting zone, throwing six different pitches in all quadrants, and commanding the sinker and cutter on both sides the plate. He may have lost the perfect play bid (the team’s highest since Chien-Ming Wang in 2007), but he has nothing to dwell on after that outing: eight innings with a run on two hits, no walks and five strikeouts 101 pitches.

The Yankees had their best scoring chance late in the round of 16 when they loaded the bases with an out on Oliver Ortega via an Andújar double and walks from IKF and Aaron Hicks. That got Joey Gallo on the plate, and in typical Joey Gallo fashion, he slammed into the zone with a full count fastball. However, pinch-hitter Anthony Rizzo came to the rescue by setting up a 1-2 fastball from Archie Bradley down the middle for a two-barrel single to ensure Taillon’s Herculean effort wasn’t wasted.

Clay Holmes came in to finish the ninth, and while it was a little more nervous than we’re used to – he loaded the bases with two outs going Ohtani and flopping Trout and Walsh – he finally got Luis Rengifo to get out and tie down the win. Holmes has now pitched 25 consecutive goalless innings.

The Yankees win the doubleheader and the series, giving the Angels their eighth consecutive loss. New York is now a season-best 21 games over .500 at 36-15. They welcome the Tigers to town for a three-game set tomorrow, with Gerrit Cole set to take on Elvin Rodríguez. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET, so join the game thread.

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