It will be a pitchers’ duel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania tonight as the New York Mets take on the Pittsburgh Pirates in the final game of a four game series. The opening game was postponed, and New York dropped the next two games.
A proven highly-touted prospect, Noah Syndergaard is on the mound for Terry Collins’ Mets, and a different highly-touted prospect, Jameson Taillon, will be making his first career major league start for Clint Hurdles’ Pirates.
Taillon was the second overall pick in the 2010 MLB draft, in which he was picked between Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. The number one and three picks have both panned out for their respective teams already, and now it’s time to see if Taillon is ready to prove that he was worth such a high pick.
It’s the perfect time for Pittsburgh to instill some youth into their starting rotation, as their veteran arms such as Juan Nicasio and Francisco Liriano have struggled as of late. Taillon was dominant in his time down in Triple-A this season, going 4-2 with a 2.04 ERA, as well as 61 strikeouts with only 6 walks.
Injuries have slowed down his progression to the majors, as he had to go through Tommy John surgery two years ago, and hernia surgery last year. Taillon has learned from his difficult path to the big leagues and it has shown in his mature words, “As a young 18-year-old (being drafted), I didn’t think this is probably the path I saw myself taking, when you’re young and naive. But it’s my journey and my path, and it’s kind of what I’ve had dealt for me. It’s made it sweeter (to get to the majors).”
If there was any good time to make your major league debut, it would probably be tonight against a Mets team that has been struggling on offense recently. They haven’t scored more than one run in their last three games.
The only issue for Taillon may be that his offense is going to have an awfully hard time attempting to get him some run support against Noah Syndergaard. “Thor” is 6-2 on the season and his 1.91 ERA trails only Clayton Kershaw and Jake Arrieta for the best in the MLB.
New York is looking to break their nine game losing streak against the Pirates, their longest head-to-head losing streak against Pittsburgh in the franchise’s history. Tonight’s game will showcase two of the best young arms in baseball, one who has more than proven himself, and the other who will get to experience the rush of walking out to a major league mound with the ball in his hand for the first time.