NEW YORK - Two innings into his big league career, Taylor Jordan has put up two zeros.
Making his major league debut today against the Mets, Jordan understandably looked a little shaky in his first inning of work, but settled down in the second, locating better down in the zone and setting the Mets down in order.
Jordan’s first career big league pitch was a 91 mph fastball outside to Eric Young Jr.
The 24-year-old then worked himself into a bit of a jam in the first, walking David Wright with two outs and then plunking Marlon Byrd to put two on. All four Nats infielders and Suzuki came out for a mound conference, trying to settle the rookie down a bit, and Jordan responded by getting Josh Satin to ground into a force out to third to end the inning.
When Jordan made his way back to the Nats dugout, shortstop Ian Desmond was waiting for him near the top step. Desmond extended his hand, gave Jordan a handshake and a pat on the backside with his glove.
Jordan threw 22 pitches in the first inning, 11 for strikes.
In the second, Jordan got Kirk Nieuwenhuis to line out to left, John Buck to fly to right and Omar Quintanilla to tap back to the mound. Jordan worked that sinker down in the lower half of the strike zone, and had both Buck and Quintanilla off-balance.
Jordan also mixed in his changeup more in the second, after going with mostly fastballs in his first frame. He threw 11 pitches, seven for strikes in the second.
Desmond greeted him at the dugout with another handshake.
Jordan has touched 95 mph on the gun but has sat in the 91-93 mph range. With the first-inning jitters behind him, let’s see how the young righty settles in.
The Nats missed a chance to get on the board in the first when Adam LaRoche’s liner to the gap in right-center bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double. Ryan Zimmerman would have easily scored from first on the play, but he had to stop at third thanks to the ground rule double. Jayson Werth then struck out to end the inning and leave two in scoring position.
We’re scoreless going to the third.
Update: Jordan delivered a scoreless third inning but got into another jam in the fourth thanks to a couple bad breaks. Ryan Zimmerman booted (literally) a groundball to open the inning, and Quintanilla dropped a bloop single into left that fell into the Bermuda Triangle between Roger Bernadina, Denard Span and Desmond.
Jordan was able to bare down, however, and allowed just a single run despite the Mets loading the bases with just one out.
Impressive work there by the rookie, who has allowed just the unearned run on three hits over four innings. He’s walked two, struck out one and thrown 68 pitches, 36 of which have been strikes.
The Nats and Mets are knotted at 1-1 going to the fifth. Suzuki has the Nats’ lone RBI of the day; his two-out single to left plated Bernadina, who had just missed a home run by a few inches a batter earlier, instead having to settle for a double off the wall.
Update II: The Nats have made three error today, giving them 59 on the season, most in the National League.
All three of those errors played a factor in Mets runs coming across today, and they played a major factor in Jordan being out after 4 1/3 innings of work. Zimmerman’s second fielding error of the game allowed Byrd to reach with one out in the fourth, and after scooping the ball on the edge of the outfield grass, Desmond then tried to make an off-balance throw to third, but the ball got away.
Instead of Daniel Murphy standing on second base with two outs, Murphy came around to score on the two-error play, and Byrd ended up on second with one out. He later came in on Nieuwenhuis’ sac fly, making it a 3-1 Mets lead.
The Nats gave Jordan minimal help from an offensive standpoint, and their defense behind him has been awful. As a result, the rookie is in line for a loss in his big league debut.
His final line: 4 1/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 84 pitches, 48 strikes.