Brian’s got Tallet

It’s a crazy game, this baseball. Sometimes you never know what to expect. Just ask pitcher Brian Tallet.

The 31-year-old left-hander came up in the Cleveland Indians organization – he was drafted by the club in the second round in 2000,  and was used primarily as a starter as he made his way up the organization chain.

By the end of 2005, Tallet had posted a record of 1-2 with a 4.04 ERA in just nine games (five starts) for the Indians. Traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2006, the left-hander found a permanent home in the bullpen.

Over the last three seasons, Tallet has been a steady presence, in fact, out of the ‘pen, posting an ERA of 3.38 in 143 appearances – 142 of them out of the bullpen. He was expected to perform the same role in 2009. That was, of course, before a plethora of injuries thrust the reliever into a starting role for the Blue Jays in mid-April.

talletHis first two starts were solid efforts. In a combined 11.0 innings, Tallet allowed just two runs – one earned – on eight hits while walking four and striking out six. In the second outing, he extended his pitch count to 93.

He threw 93 pitches again on Apr. 29, his third start of the year. But this time the result was much different. In just 4.0 innings of work, Tallet was battered for 10 runs on 11 hits. He walked another three and gave up three home runs.

Perhaps his starting days were over? That may well have been the case had the Blue Jays had another arm to sub in. But they didn’t, so Tallet took the mound again last night for his career-high fourth start of the season. To say that he rebounded from his previous dismal start would be an understatement.

There he was in the seventh inning last night, toeing the rubber against his former team — staring at the signs being given from catcher Rod Barajas having yet to give up a hit all night.

That’s right. With the Blue Jays ahead 2-0, Tallet opened the top of the seventh with a no-hitter. He got the first man, Jhonny Peralta, to strike out for the first out of the inning. But, alas, that would be the end of Tallet’s remarkable run. Ryan Garko made sure of that. The Cleveland first baseman promptly lined a single up the middle to break up the no-hit bid.

But before the crowd of 15,295 could return to their seats after giving Tallet a standing ovation for his efforts, rookie Matt LaPorta drilled a ball – his first big-league hit – into the left field bleachers for a two-run homer. And just like that, the ball game was tied. It’s a crazy game, this baseball.

An Asdrubal Cabrera fielder’s choice later in the inning gave the Indians a 3-2 lead, and it appeared Tallet’s efforts were all for naught. In reality though, that was certainly not the case. After all, the 31-year-old gave the Blue Jays a quality start – and that’s all manager Cito Gaston is asking of his interim starting pitchers. As it turned out, the Jays scored a pair in the bottom of the inning to re-take the lead, 4-3, and Tallet was in line for the win.

Ultimately, of course, the Blue Jays were the losers in what turned out to be a battle of the bullpens. Perhaps things would have been different had the Jays had Tallet’s services out of the ‘pen.     

But that’s a moot point.

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2 Responses to “Brian’s got Tallet”

  1. red Says:

    this may be your worst title ever, no offense.

  2. TD Says:

    Haha. But you got it, and that’s all that matters.

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