Jameson Taillon receives warm reception
It’s not very often a player gets cheered on the road, especially when they play for the New York Yankees. But that is exactly what happened when Jameson Taillon took the mound at PNC Park on Tuesday evening, with the former Pirates pitcher receiving quite the warm welcome from his former team’s fans.
The club even decided to play Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks” as Taillon walked out of the Yankee’s dugout on Tuesday, having a video tribute of the pitcher playing on the videoboard as the crowd gave him a standing ovation.
“I’m not used to having my walk-out song played in a visiting stadium, so that was cool,” Taillon said, via MLB.com. “Hopefully, I can get a copy of the video that was playing. I’d like to have that for the rest of my life.”
Despite the warm reception and video tribute, Taillon did not have a great night against his former team, allowing five runs in 5 1/3 innings including two home runs. He now has a 6.16 ERA over his past six starts, something that he understands needs to change.
“It’s a results-oriented league,” Taillon admitted. “But at the same time, I feel great, I feel healthy, I’m making a lot of quality pitches. But it feels like I’m getting burned every outing on a couple of pitches with runners on, especially. So kind of a give and take.”
Taillon was selected with the second overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft by the Pirates and had been with the organization until he was traded to the Yankees on January 24th, 2021. In exchange, the Pirates received multiple prospects including Miguel Yajure, Roansy Contreras, Maikol Escotto and Canaan Smith as they aimed to rebuild their roster.
Despite his most recent struggles, Taillon has been stellar during the 2022 campaign for the Yankees, coming into Tuesday’s game with a personal streak of nine wins while pitching to a 3.30 ERA over the span of 14 starts.
“For somebody like him to finally have some success that people knew he could have has been cool,” said Yankees closer Clay Holmes, who also played with Taillon in Pittsburgh and moved to New York in 2021 as well. “Like I said, he’s overcome so much. I think it just makes it that much more special to him and the people around him.”
It was apparent from the moment Taillon walked out of the dugout that he was excited to be pitching at PNC Park again in front of the Pirates supporters. The fact that the stadium was sold out also proves how excited Pittsburgh fans were to welcome their former starting pitcher back as well.
“I went through a lot here,” Taillon reflected. “I made lifelong friends that I’m lucky I kept in touch with. I’ve been in these people’s weddings. I’ve watched families grow. It’s definitely good to be back. This city always treated me really well.”
Even though the Pirates picked up the win on Tuesday, they still find themselves with a 33-47 record as they sit third in the National League Central Division.