Jameson Taillon goes where he's never gone before (and thrives)

Jameson Taillon didn't overpower, but he did make it look easy against the Mets. AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

Pittsburgh Pirates starter Jameson Taillon looked very much like a No. 2 overall pick on Tuesday night.

Though Taillon was facing a depleted Mets lineup, he still looked pretty good, taking a no-hitter into the sixth and holding the Mets to two hits in eight scoreless innings.

Taillon became the first Pirates pitcher to throw eight scoreless innings, allowing two hits or fewer within first two career games since Cy Blanton in 1935. He was the first Pirates pitcher to have a scoreless, two-hit start over eight innings since Jeff Locke last season.

The eight innings were a professional career-high for Taillon, who never got that far in any of his 84 career minor-league starts.

How he won

Though Taillon throws a fastball that averages about 95 mph, he hasn’t shown the tendency to be overpowering in his first two starts. Tuesday, he basically got by with two pitches- of his 91 pitches, 87 were fastballs or curveballs.

What Taillon did do on Tuesday was induce weak contact. The Mets went 1-for-15 when hitting a ground ball.

Looking ahead

Taillon’s next start will be considerably more challenging. He’s slated to face the Chicago Cubs on Sunday Night Baseball. The Pirates are 5-1 against the Cubs this season and they’ve scored at least six runs in five of the six games. The Cubs have the second-best batting average in the National League against pitches as fast as Taillon’s average fastball was on Tuesday (94.5 mph).

The only NL team with a higher batting average against pitches that speed or faster is the Pirates (.293).