A former Yankee facing the Yankees? Expect New York to get bludgeoned from every angle because there's just no way they can handle the "revenge" factor, whether it's alive and well or nonexistent. In the case of Friday night, it was pretty much nonexistent, too.
The Yankees got blanked by the Chicago Cubs in a 3-0 game. It was Carlos Rodón's season and team debut. He actually pitched fine, but it was the offense that let him down and embarrassed every fan in the process.
Rodón's opponent was former Yankee Jameson Taillon, who had an up-and-down tenure in the Bronx but ended on a high note. He gutted out a performance in Game 162 on a bum ankle back in 2021 to get the Yanks into the playoffs. He was rock solid in 2022, going 14-5 with a 3.91 ERA, 3.94 FIP and 1.13 WHIP. Then he signed a $68 million deal with the Cubs this past offseason. All seemed well.
Not only did the Yankees have plenty of tape on this guy after he had played for them the previous two years, but Taillon entered this contest with an ERA a shade below 7.00. Out of all the qualified pitchers in baseball, he's been among the worst. How bad, in fact? He had just one quality start on the year out of 14.
Until Friday night, when he put forth his best outing of the season, made the Yankees look like a Double-A squad, and snapped a historic Cubs drought that dated back to the 1930s.
Yankees letting Jameson Taillon, Cubs walk all over them was pathetic
Pop quiz! When was the last time Taillon pitched eight innings or more? May 27, 2022 against the Rays. When was the last time he surrendered fewer than four earned runs in a start? June 2. And that helped the Cubs win at Yankee Stadium for the first time EVER. Chicago was 0-12 on the road against the Yankees dating back to 1932.
The Yankees notched two hits and two walks on the night, spoiling Rodón's rather solid 5.1 innings of two-run ball (four hits, two walks, two strikeouts). His only major blemish was the monster solo home run he allowed to Cody Bellinger.
Meanwhile, Anthony Rizzo, Gleyber Torres, Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Donaldson went 1-for-12. Franchy Cordero got the call/start after Jake Bauers was placed on the injured list (but hey, he went 1-for-3!). Torres logged a single in the first inning and then the Yankees didn't put another guy on base until the fifth. They didn't get another hit until the ninth.
That also helped Taillon accomplish something that hadn't been done at Yankee Stadium since 2000! That's a TWO for one milestone evening for the Cubs. That's how bad the Yankees were.
This team was one competent inning away from taking the first three games of their series against the Orioles. Instead, after grabbing the first two, they dropped the next two in lifeless fashion and followed it up with this.
The All-Star break can't arrive soon enough.