After a six game losing streak ripped through one and a fifth of the Nats rotation and Jordan Zimmermann got torched for five runs in the first game of a double header on Friday the Nats needed good starting pitching. Who would’ve ever thought that three of the best pitching performances of this home stand would belong to Ross Ohlendorf, Dan Haren, and Taylor Jordan. In the final three games of a four game series against the Mets the Nationals back of the rotation and spot starter allowed three combined runs.
Today’s performance by Taylor Jordan earned him his first MLB win as he started off the game perfect through three innings with three strikeouts and several soft fly outs to the shallow part of the outfield. After the three perfect innings Jordan faced a bit of adversity as he allowed a lead-off single to Mets’ left fielder Eric Young Jr. before striking out Satin and getting Daniel Murphy on a ground ball to LaRoche. He then allowed back to back singles to Marlon Byrd that scored Eric Young Jr. and Ike Davis before striking out John Buck to end the inning.
Nats wouldn’t get another 1-2-3 inning until Ian Krol pitched in the eighth, but Jordan was able to work around the base runners and didn’t give up another run in his six innings of work striking out a career high seven batters. It was an impressive performance by the young right hander who will be shutdown this season due to having Tommy John’s surgery the previous season. Taylor Jordan has earned himself the right the compete for a spot at the back end of the 2014 rotation and has helped to keep the Nats on the edges of a division race.
The other big story from this game, and maybe even the big story of the game, was a Nats offense that exploded for 14 runs on 18 hits with Denard Span hitting his second homer in as many days and Wilson Ramos hitting his first career grand slam. The scoring started in the bottom of the second when Ian Desmond hit a one out double and was singled home by Span. Ramos followed that with a single and both were bunted over by Taylor Jordan and singled home by Bryce Harper. In the bottom of the third inning the Nats picked up where they left off with a Zimmerman double followed by a one out Werth walk, a Desmond single, Span single, and the aforementioned Ramos grand slam. In the first three innings of the game the Nats had eight runs and they weren’t finished yet.
The Nats would add two runs in the fourth inning on a Rendon single, Zimmerman single, Rendon advancement to third on a LaRoche GIDP before being driven in by Werth, a Desmond walk, and Werth being driven in by Denard Span. In the sixth the Nats would add three more on two out singles by Werth and Desmond in front of a Span three run homer. And finally the Nats would tack on one last run in the eighth on a Lombardozzi single and two out Ian Desmond double that led to Lombardozzi scoring on an error by the Mets’ right fielder.
This was the rare game where everything worked and Nats fans were treated to seeing a rookie pitcher dominate a major league line-up and the Nats offense take care of business against a career journeyman relief pitcher making his third start of the season. Carlos Torres had been good in his two previous starts and had an 0.94 ERA entering today’s action, but the Nats made him look like a reliever making a spot start instead of their typical act of making such pitchers look like the reincarnation of Sal the Barber.