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Cubs 3, Yankees 0: At last! ... for both the team and Jameson Taillon

A great pitching performance by Taillon led the Cubs to their first-ever win in the Bronx.

Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

You did not predict this.

No one did.

The Cubs went into this series having never won a game in Yankee Stadium, old or new, 0-12 combined between World Series games and regular-season games, a streak dating back more than 90 years.

Before Friday, Jameson Taillon had been just about the worst starter in Major League Baseball this season, and discussions, here at least, had been about perhaps another IL stint or a move to the bullpen.

Well. Instead of that, the Cubs had Taillon’s best start of the year, and one of the best by any Cub, eight one-hit innings, and the Cubs ended that long streak of Bronx futility with a well-played 3-0 win.

Taillon allowed a one-out single in the first inning, then set down 13 in a row until a two-out walk in the fifth. After that, five more in a row before a one-out walk in the seventh, which was erased on a double play. No Yankees batter got past first base the entire game.

I’m going to pause here to let you take that in. It was one of the best pitching performances by a Cub this year and if they keep getting this from Taillon, with the other starters still throwing well — well then, perhaps a second-half run can happen.

One run would obviously have been enough to win this game, but the Cubs scored three. Here’s how those runs crossed the plate.

Cody Bellinger smashed this long home run into the second deck in right field in the top of the third [VIDEO].

That ball was crushed! [VIDEO]

It’s the second home run in as many days for Bellinger, who hadn’t hit one since April 30, before Thursday’s in Milwaukee. He also now has a career-high 13-game hitting streak, which matches Christopher Morel for the longest by any Cub this year.

The Cubs added a run in the fifth. Trey Mancini and Miguel Amaya walked, sandwiched around a popup. Patrick Wisdom forced Amaya, with Mancini taking third.

Nico Hoerner singled Mancini in [VIDEO].

The third and final Cubs run scored in the top of the seventh. Bellinger singled and stole second, his 11th. One out later, Wisdom doubled in Bellinger [VIDEO].

That was more than the Cubs needed, and they got offense from several different players and absolute dominance from Taillon, who reduced his ERA by more than three-quarters of a run, from 6.93 to 6.15, with this outstanding outing. It’s still too high, obviously, but if Taillon can keep up this level of performance — or even anything close to it — good things will happen for this team in the second half.

Taillon threw 102 pitches (64 strikes) and so Adbert Alzolay entered to throw the ninth inning. He allowed a leadoff single to Franchy Cordero, but almost immediately got Anthony Volpe to hit into a double play.

That left Gleyber Torres between the Cubs and victory, and Adbert took care of him on this nasty slider [VIDEO].

This was one of the most satisfying wins of the entire 2023 season, a game that seemed a pitching mismatch between a struggling Taillon and a pitcher (Carlos Rodón) who had dominated the Cubs several times in the past.

But the Cubs made easy work of Rodón and Taillon was magnificent.

From BCB’s JohnW53:

Taillon made his 158th career start Friday night. It was just the eighth in which he departed after allowing no runs through seven or more innings, including a complete-game one-hitter for the Pirates at home against the Reds on April 8, 2018. He had two more such seven-or-more, no-run starts that year. Until Friday, he had had only one since: Eight innings with two hits, no walks and five strikeouts for the Yankees at Tampa Bay on May 27 of last year.

That one from last year was similar to this one. Here’s to many more. Another fun fact about Taillon’s outing:

Saturday’s pitching matchup doesn’t look favorable for the Cubs but after this one, who knows? Drew Smyly takes the mound for the Cubs and Gerrit Cole will start for the Yankees. Game time Saturday is early, 12:05 p.m. CT, and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network (and MLB Network outside the Cubs and Yankees market territories).

The BCB game preview will post at 10:30 a.m. CT today.