|Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER|
If they do find a way to take today's series finale against the Mets, they may just hand Taylor Jordan his much-awaited first career win. The rookie right-hander certainly has pitched well enough in his first five starts (3.68 ERA) to deserve better than an 0-3 record. Today presents a new challenge for him, facing an opponent for the second time for the first time (if that makes sense).
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NEW YORK METS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 187
Weather: Scattered storms, 80 degrees, Wind 9 mph out to LF
LF Bryce Harper
2B Anthony Rendon
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Jayson Werth
SS Ian Desmond
CF Denard Span
C Wilson Ramos
RHP Taylor Jordan
LF Eric Young Jr.
3B Josh Satin
2B Daniel Murphy
RF Marlon Byrd
1B Ike Davis
C John Buck
CF Juan Lagares
SS Omar Quintanilla
RHP Carlos Torres
HP Victor Carapazza
1B Wally Bell
2B Kerwin Danley
3B Lance Barksdale
1:37 p.m. — We are underway.
1:44 p.m. — A solid, 18-pitch top of the first for Taylor Jordan, who retired the side. He struck out Josh Satin looking at a nice slider, a pitch he seems to be using more effectively with each passing start.
1:49 p.m. — Some unfortunate news to report: Nats pitching coach Steve McCatty was taken to the hospital a little while ago. We don't know what happened, but a team spokesman said he wasn't taken in an ambulance, so it doesn't appear to be a life-threatening emergency. McCatty was here this morning, so whatever happened must have happened in the last hour or two. Hopefully we'll get a positive update later.
1:57 p.m. — Two innings, six batters, six outs and 29 pitches for Jordan. Good stuff so far from the rookie.
2:15 p.m. — Whoa, it's a genuine rally by the Nats' lineup! They scored three runs in the bottom of the second via four base hits, three of them coming with runners in scoring position. Ian Desmond doubled, Denard Span singled, Wilson Ramos poked an 0-2 pitch to right field for an RBI single and after a Jordan sac bunt, Bryce Harper poked a 3-2 pitch to left field for a two-run single. Just like that, it's 3-0 Nats after two.
2:24 p.m. — Nine up and nine down for Jordan. Impressive in its own right, even more so considering he's facing the Mets for the second time. Still 3-0, middle of the third.
2:37 p.m. — Sweet Fancy Moses, the Nats lineup is on fire. They just put up five more runs in the bottom of the third, torching Carlos Torres. They're now 6-for-8 with runners in scoring position today, and the most encouraging part of that is the fact the first four of those hits all went to the opposite field. Guys weren't trying to pull the ball into the stratosphere for a change. ... Of course, Wilson Ramos absolutely pulled the ball into the stratosphere when he blasted a grand slam to cap the inning. Ramos got a curtain call for his efforts, though Jordan didn't know he was supposed to step out of the batter's box to allow for it. No problem, Wilson just waited until between pitches to accept the fans' love. It's 8-0 after three.
2:52 p.m. — Well, there goes Jordan's perfect game. And his shutout. The Mets scored in the top of the fourth on three singles, including Marlon Byrd's RBI base hit off a diving Rendon. So it's now 8-1 Nats.
3:09 p.m. — Make it 10-1 Nationals thanks to four more hits in the fourth off reliever Gonzalez Germen. They're now 8-for-11 with RISP, and their 6-8 hitters today are 7-for-7 with a walk, a homer and seven RBI. That'll usually work. Onto the fifth.
3:24 p.m. — Jordan has completed five innings, striking out seven, so he's officially in line for his first career win. That's assuming the Nats can hold a 10-1 lead, of course.
3:58 p.m. — Sweet Fancy Moses, Denard Span has homered twice in as many days! This one was a 2-run blast, giving the Nats a commanding, 13-1 lead after six innings. Remarkably, this is the second time in a month the Nats have led the Mets by 12 or more runs in a game. That deserves another Sweet Fancy Moses!
4:13 p.m. — Craig Stammen enters with a 13-1 lead and proceeds to load the bases on a single, two walks and a wild pitch. Come on, Craig. He did manage to get out of the jam, so the lead remains at the stretch.
4:30 p.m. — Meanwhile, a spring training game has broken out here. Mass changes on both sides as they just try to keep the big names healthy. Zimmerman, Harper and Werth are all on the bench now. Still 13-1 as we go to the bottom of the eighth.
4:39 p.m. — Make it 14-1 as Desmond doubles in another run. Unbelievable game from the bottom of the lineup today. Ryan Mattheus in to close this one out.
4:54 p.m. — Good lord, Mattheus loaded the bases in the ninth and had to be pulled out of the game by Davey in favor of Fernando Abad. But Abad finished off a 14-1 victory. The Nats take 3 of 4 from the Mets and have won 4 of their last 5. Pretty crazy, when you think about it.