As Jameson Taillon stepped back on to the mound in the seventh inning, he saw a reliever already warming in the Pirates' bullpen. Taillon had allowed only two baserunners — neither reached scoring position — and he had thrown only 68 pitches to hold a first-place opponent scoreless through six.
"I know I haven’t been pitching the greatest, so I understand maybe the trust isn’t there," Taillon said afterwards. Taillon, who has emerged as the ace of the rotation, wanted to snap the Pirates' recent skid — a negative-35 run differential over their past four games — and rest a bullpen taxed as the result of short starts.
He was removed only 12 pitches into the inning. Taillon was replaced after his 77th pitch was hit to center by Scott Kingery for a game-tying RBI single, and reliever Edgar Santana allowed a go-ahead RBI double to Jorge Alfaro one pitch later.
It resulted in a 3-2loss to the Phillies Saturday afternoon at PNC Park. The Pirates, now eight games under .500 at 40-48, have lost five in a row, and the man who nearly pitched them out of that skid wasn't pleased with the decision to not allow him to finish what he started.