“You can’t explain it,” Manager Davey Johnson said. “It was an uplifting game last night, and today was a downer.”
Jordan, a quickly ascending call-up from Harrisburg, validated the Nationals’ faith in him over 41
3 innings, but the Nationals’ defense obscured the quality of his outing. Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman committed two fielding errors and Ian Desmond made a throwing error, all of which contributed to two unearned runs. Zimmerman’s 13 errors for the season are among the most in the majors, and the Nationals’ 59 errors pace the National League.
“He pitched his butt off,” Desmond said. “We didn’t really help him out too much.”
Meanwhile, the Nationals continued their odd capitulation to Mets right-handed starter Dillon Gee, who might be plying his trade in Class AAA Las Vegas if not for his bullying of Washington. The Nationals’ lone run in six innings against Gee came on Kurt Suzuki’s RBI single in the fourth. Against the rest of the league this year, Gee owns a 5.55 ERA over 13 starts. In three starts against the Nationals, he has allowed two runs over 182
“I think it’s more us,” Desmond said. “No offense, this is no knock on him. But I think it’s more us, maybe being a little too aggressive or not aggressive enough.”
Two months ago, Jordan was a Class A pitcher. Saturday morning, the right-hander sat in a chair in front of his locker inside the plush visiting clubhouse at Citi Field, smiling like he had just found a $20 bill on the ground. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011, and this spring training the Nationals did not bother inviting him to major league camp. After a promotion to Class AA, where he punched up a 0.83 ERA in nine games, he had made the major league roster.
“This exceeded even my high goals,” Jordan said. “So it’s unreal.”
Jordan stands 6 feet 3 and an athletic 190 pounds, “a nice pitcher’s frame,” Johnson said. As he delivered the ball, Jordan’s arm moved as if it contained an extra joint, loose and free, twisting behind his head and whipping quickly forward. He repeats the motion for all of his pitches, which adds more deception. His fastball reached 95 mph, and he mixed in change-ups and sliders.
“He just went right at them,” Zimmerman said. “I like guys that go right at people and make them put the ball in play.”