Jameson Taillon’s quality start, long ball help spark Cubs to 8th straight win
ST. LOUIS — Jameson Taillon knew he just needed one good outing.
After his dominant, 8-inning, 1-hit outing against the Yankees at the beginning of the month, the righty has locked it in. That’s why he never had any panic Saturday night when he ran into trouble.
“I just feel like once I had one good start, that’s what I needed to kinda remember that feeling and just know that I’m going about it the right way,” Taillon said. “This is the stuff I need to be working on. Just remember that feeling and carry it forward.”
After loading the bases with 2 outs in the 3rd, Taillon retired 10 in a row en route to a quality start in the Cubs’ 5-1 win over the Cardinals. It’s the Cubs’ 8th win in a row, their longest winning streak of the season and the best currently in baseball. It’s the longest winning streak for the Cubs since 2016. They sit just 3.5 games back in the NL Central.
Taillon’s resurgence has coincided with the Cubs’ hot run that’s got them back into the thick of the postseason race. Over his last 4 outings, Taillon is sporting a crisp 1.78 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and opponents are hitting just .191 against him.
The grit he showed in the 3rd inning showcased why he’s been so strong. Staked to a 2-1 lead after a 2-run home run by Ian Happ in the top of the frame, the Cardinals looked poised to steal the lead right back.
“I just needed to get off the field the, find a way to get an out and then regroup in between innings,” Taillon said.
A flyout from Nolan Gorman to Ian Happ did the trick. From there it was clear sailing. He pitched perfect innings over his final 3 frames and finished the night with 6 innings of 1-run ball and 4 strikeouts.
Taillon’s defense picked up. Over those final 10 outs, Taillon recorded just 2 strikeouts. His teammates did the work and made some nifty plays behind him — including a pair from Nick Madrigal at the hot corner.
Madrigal, in his first game off the IL, prevented a leadoff hit in the 3rd to Paul DeJong and then robbed Willson Contreras of extra-bases to open the 4th.
Nick Madrigal putting on a clinic at third! pic.twitter.com/XnVHx2OaQs— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) July 30, 2023
“Madrigal, welcome back, two amazing plays,” Taillon said. “Everyone made a play today … When that kinda starts happening, I’m like, ‘All right I’m gonna have to make them hit it.’ I remember a 3-1 count to [designated hitter Brendan] Donovan where I was like, ‘Goldschmidt’s on deck, I’m just gonna let him hit it with the defense playing this way.’ And then Tauchman makes a great play.
“Everything kinda went right.”
Including the offense.
Yan Gomes delivered a 2-run home run to center field in the 4th, just past the glove of Dylan Carlson — almost reminiscent of the fly ball that Mike Tauchman robbed less than 24 hours before.
The Cubs added another insurance run in the 7th when Tauchman delivered an RBI-double that plated Madrigal. Madrigal finished 2-for-4 with a double.
The Cardinals did make things interesting late. In the 8th, they loaded the bases with 2-outs against Mark Leiter Jr. With the tying run, Jordan Walker, up to bat, Ross turned to Javier Assad who delivered a much-needed out two pitches later to escape the jam.
Daniel Palencia shut the door on the Cardinals with a perfect 9th, handing the Cubs — the hottest team in baseball — another win.