NATIONALS QUICK WRAP
SCORE: Nationals 5, Mets 4
Recap: The Mets put up four runs on Christian Garcia in the fifth to take a 4-1 lead, but the Nats chipped away in the late innings and took the lead in the top of the ninth on Michael Taylor’s RBI triple to center.
Need to know: The two young Nats starters who threw today, Taylor Jordan and A.J. Cole, each impressed with two scoreless innings. And there were no apparent injuries. So that’s a good thing.
On deck: Saturday, home vs. Braves, 1:05 p.m.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - We’re tied 4-4 entering the ninth inning here at Tradition Field, after the Nationals put up two runs in the seventh and one in the eighth to knot the score late.
Get pumped, everyone.
An RBI double from Koyie Hill and a Cesar Puello throwing error allowing Hill to score from third put the Nats within a run in the seventh. Matt Skole and Zach Walters then smoked back-to-back doubles in the eighth to push the tying run across.
Walters has two doubles today, but he was picked off second base after his double in the eighth. Matt Williams will like the doubles. I’m guessing he won’t like the baserunning miscue as much.
With a handful of family members and friends in attendance, Brevard County native Taylor Jordan got his spring off on the right foot today, throwing two innings of scoreless ball.
Jordan struck out two and allowed just one hit on the afternoon, and enjoyed getting a chance to compete against guys wearing different colors than his own.
“It definitely feels good to pitch against an opposing team,” Jordan said. “I have a different mentality about that. During spring training, I’m not trying to hurt anybody. I’m not trying to go in hard on people, because I don’t want to put them out for the season, my teammates. But it definitely felt really good to get out there.
“I threw quite a bit of strikes today, and that’s all I was really trying to do today, just throw the ball over the plate and get contact.”
Both of Jordan’s strikeouts today came on changeups, which is the better of his two secondary pitches.
“Minus one changeup, most of them were low and exactly what I wanted,” Jordan said. “Minus one. ... It helps a lot (when that pitch is working). That’s the equalizer to my fastball. That changeup that just drops straight down, the change of speeds with it, it just complements my fastball.”
Jordan’s other secondary pitch is his slider, which he says he’s been trying to focus on improving against right-handed hitters this spring.
“I threw a couple sliders today,” he said. “It wasn’t my main focus, but when I was able to throw one, I tried to throw it,” he said. “It felt good. (Pitching coach Steve McCatty) said I had good break on it. It’s starting to come back.”
Jordan got a helping hand in the second inning when center fielder Eury Perez made a diving grab to rob Lucas Duda of extra bases on a ball into the left-center gap. Jordan waited for Perez when he got to the dugout and dapped him up, thanking him for the effort.
“I wanted to do more than just (give him a fist-pound),” Jordan joked. “That was a great play. I wanted to do more than just: (fist-pound). ‘Nice one!’ “
Jordan’s competing for the fifth spot in the Nats’ rotation this spring, but he says he’s not thinking about that in the early stages as he tries to get his feet under him.
“I’m not going to push for something that’s not capable out of me,” Jordan said. “I try to stay within myself. I don’t try to put too much pressure on myself. I just went out there trying to throw strikes. I wasn’t trying to throw a no-hitter or something.”