July 30, 2014

Washington Nationals Game 80 Review: Errors spoil Taylor Jordan’s debut

In case the pressure of his first-ever Major League start wasn’t enough, the Nationals committed two errors as Taylor Jordan settled for his first career loss in the New York Mets’ 5-1 win Saturday.

Jordan (L, 0-1) looked sharp to start, forcing Eric Young and Daniel Murphy to ground out against his slider. The recent Double-A call-up, however, walked David Wright on six pitches before hitting Marlon Byrd with a runaway fastball.

Jordan regained command against Josh Satin, with another groundout – this time, off his 81 MPH changeup.

In the second inning, it appeared three outs was all he needed to take command of the mound as though it had been his all season. He retired the side on a total of 11 pitches – seven of which were strikes – using everything in his pitching arsenal to stay ahead of batters.

In fact, his first hit allowed came in the third inning with two outs – a harmless bloop single off the bat of Daniel Murphy.

In the fourth, the Nats finally plated a run off Dillon Gee (W, 6-7) after Roger Bernadina hit a two-out double, coming home on a Kurt Suzuki single.

Unfortunately for the Nats, one run wasn’t enough to power Jordan through the bottom of the inning. Even worse, Washington provided little help in the field – as Ryan Zimmerman committed the first of the team’s three errors to put the first batter of the half inning on base – Marlon Byrd.

Satin followed up with a walk before Kirk Nieuwenhuis grounded into a fielder’s choice to put runners at the corners.

John Buck singled off an 83 MPH changeup to bring home Byrd to tie the game, 1-1.

Omar Quintanilla singled in the next at-bat, but Jordan retired Gee and Young to pitch out of the jam.

In the bottom of the fifth, however, he wasn’t quite so lucky. In fact, the Nationals’ infield made things even harder on the 24-year-old.

Murphy singled to lead off before Wright grounded out, sending Murphy to second. Then, Byrd reached on a fielding error by none other than Zimmerman. As if that weren’t enough, Ian Desmond committed a throwing error at short, which allowed Murphy to score on a bizarre two-error play.

Jordan gave up a single to Satin in the next at-bat before being relieved by Craig Stammen. By that point, the rookie had recorded a final line of 4.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K and a 2.08 ERA.

Stammen’s first batter – Nieuwenhuis – plated Byrd on a sacrifice fly before John Buck lined out to end the inning with the Mets up 5-1.

The Nats nearly threatened in the seventh, with Suzuki doubling off reliever Carlos Torres. Steve Lombardozzi lined out before Denard Span drew a two-out walk, but Washington failed to score.

In the eighth, the Nats went down in order, only to muster just one walk in the ninth to seal New York’s 5-1 win.

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