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Chicago Cubs drop Game 1 of series 6-2 as Milwaukee Brewers surge 6-2 over Jameson Taillon in first inning – The Denver Post

Jameson Taillon’s first season in Chicago largely didn’t go the way he and the Cubs envisioned.

Lately, he’s pitched more like the version both sides were hoping for when he signed a four-year, $68 million deal this offseason, posting a 3.98 ERA and pitching in the sixth inning. in eight of his last nine starts. Taillon knows rotation is a big factor in what happens in the final month of the season as the Cubs try to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2020.

“I feel like it’s a cliché, but starting to throw sets the tone for everything,” Taillon told La Tribune over the weekend. “So if we’re going to make an effort and get where we’re trying to go, I feel like it starts and ends with throwing in general, but starting throwing always sets the tone.

“I for one feel like the ship has sailed to get my numbers to where I wanted them to be this year, and that doesn’t worry me. All I worry about is my next number of starts and the victory of the team. This is where we all are. When you’re in a race, nothing matters but winning that game, so go out there and keep the team in the game, get involved, let the offense do its job, let the defense do its job and try not to put the team in a hole. .”

Unfortunately for Taillon and the Cubs, the veteran right-hander immediately put them in catch-up mode Monday against the No. 1 Milwaukee Brewers. Christian Yelich sent the third pitch of the game, a 95 mph fastball down and in, toward the center field bleachers after Taillon fell 2-0 down. It was the start of a four-run inning with Rowdy Tellez (sacrificial fly) and Mark Canha (two-run homer) contributing to Taillon’s woes.

Since the All-Star break, the Cubs have allowed 31 first-inning runs, the most in the National League and fourth in the majors. Taillon and Drew Smyly were primarily responsible for those first-inning runs, allowing nine apiece in the first inning during that span. Early homers were also a bit of a problem throughout the season, and the Cubs were tied for seventh in the first period with the Royals and A’s – before the Brewers twice dug past Taillon in the first.

Although Taillon settled in, allowing an unearned run over the next five innings, the offense couldn’t do much against former Cub Wade Miley in a 6-2 loss to leave them five games behind. Milwaukee in the division race.

“Definitely the first two or three (innings) I felt like I was making really good throws and they’re still driving them, some cutters down and right-handers who got hit harder than usual, so maybe it’s just a game plan that looks hard down and out, which tells me maybe I need to step in more or more, no matter what,” said Taillon: “But I thought the last rounds were much better, but it was definitely happening pretty fast there at the start.”

Two of the Cubs’ four hits against Miley were two-out home runs by Ian Happ and Patrick Wisdom in the first and fifth innings. Solo homers aside, the Cubs (69-62) didn’t have a runner’s lead at second base, having only four singles and one walk.

Mistakes by Dansby Swanson and Nico Hoerner on tough plays they usually make didn’t help Taillon. Hoerner’s pitch that passed first baseman Jeimer Candelario jumped into the Brewers dugout, allowing Yelich to reach a two-out single in the field and advance to second on the pitching error . He scored on William Contreras’ single to extend the Brewers lead to 5-1 in the second inning.

“When we play a clean, solid defense they’ve done it, we haven’t, two very good teams go into it,” manager David Ross said. “It’s kind of the story of the game.”

Ross thought Taillon was a little too excited at first, citing the atmosphere at Wrigley Field for a big game. Taillon agreed with Ross’ assessment.

“I didn’t really think in the moment, ‘Man, I’m so excited right now,'” Taillon said. “But I really think if I was going to go back to the delivery and the speed of everything, I’d probably come back to you and tell you that I was probably a little unconsciously excited. I even felt like during my warm-ups , it was really hot and I felt like maybe I was going a little fast and all that.

“It’s a shame that it takes four runs in the first inning to set up and that puts us in a hole, allows their pitcher to just fill the area.”

The late count led the Brewers to two home runs in the first inning. Taillon needs to be aggressive and hit early or he’ll open himself up to fastball-friendly counts. He doesn’t feature the kind of swing-and-miss tricks that allow him to try to entice batters to chase in those spots. They know Taillon needs to get back in the zone with a 2-0 score, which allowed Yelich and Canha to punish his four-seam fastball.

Before the exit, Taillon thought he could go after the Brewers left-handers with backdoor cuts. The pitch wasn’t effective early on and when his curveball efficiency was unreliable, it left Taillon vulnerable to damage until he was able to adjust with receiver Yan Gomes .

“I feel completely different when I’m ahead in a count and I feel like I have a ton of options and I can do a lot of things really well,” Taillon said. “When I’m behind in a count, especially like 2-0, 3-1, that kind of situation, I feel like I’m almost typecast into throwing something hard over the plate. …I get really frustrated when I put myself in that situation to begin with.

“Tonight is a great example: you just don’t have time to figure things out on the fly against a very good team who take advantage of missed opportunities.”


denverpost sports

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