Sure, Jordan loaded the bases with none out and fell behind in counts too many times, putting pressure on himself and his defense. But with one out and runners on the corners, Jordan got a tailor-made double play ball hit to Ryan Zimmerman at third base.
The ball was struck well by Jordy Mercer, for sure, but Zimmerman picked it clean and delivered an on-target throw to second baseman Anthony Rendon that should have started a relatively easy inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.
Rendon took his eyes off the ball, however, and had it drop to the ground. No outs were recorded on the play, Rendon was given his ninth error of the season and the Pirates plated their second run of the game.
They got their third just a minute or so later, when Pirates starter Gerrit Cole showed bunt, pulled the bat back and then slapped a single through the left side for an RBI single.
That made it 3-0 Pittsburgh in the second inning.
Jordan went winless through his first four big league starts not because he pitched poorly, but because his teammates seemed to let him down in some aspect each time he took the mound.
Sometimes, it was a lack of offense. Sometimes, it was the bullpen blowing a lead. Sometimes, it was defensive miscues.
File today’s start in that last category, at least to this point.
Update: Wilson Ramos got the Nats on the board with a solo homer in the third, one that barely got over the left-center field fence and avoided the glove of a leaping Andrew McCutchen, but the home team still trails 3-1 midway through the sixth.
The Nats have managed just two hits through five off Cole, who is pumping his fastball at up to 98 mph and has four strikeouts. So far, the Nats lack a hit with runners in scoring position, making them 6-for-their-last-78 in such situations.
That’s an .077 batting average.
Jordan has really settled in nicely since that rough second inning. He’s now through six on just 71 pitches, has faced just one over the minimum in his last four frames and will get a chance to work into the seventh inning for the first time in his career.
He and the Nats still trail, however.