At least it wasn’t Haren, right?
Taylor Jordan was so-so in his MLB debut, allowing three runs even though just one was earned thanks to three errors, and the Nats (40-40) struggled against the subpar Dillon Gee again, scoring just one run, as they lost to the Mets, 5-1.
Jordan (L, 0-1) got off to a relatively good start despite a somewhat wild first inning. He walked David Wright and plunked Marlon Byrd, but did not allow a run. He allowed just one hit through three innings, but encountered trouble in the fourth and the fifth. A Ryan Zimmerman error put a runner on to start the fourth, and with a walk the Mets had a runner in scoring position with no outs. After a groundout moved a runner to third, John Buck singled to left to score the unearned run and tie the game at 1. Another single loaded the bases, but Jordan rebounded to retire two straight Mets to keep the game tied.
In the fifth, more defensive errors hampered the Nats. With a runner on second and one out, Zimmerman booted another grounder. Ian Desmond caught it and attempted to throw out the runner going to third, but his throw hit the runner and bounced away, allowing him to score. Instead of a runner on second with two outs, the Mets scored a run on those two errors and still had a runner on second with one out. After another single, Jordan was lifted. His final line was decent: 4.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K. Craig Stammen replaced him and got out both batters he faced, although one was a sacrifice fly that put the Mets up 3-1.
Meanwhile, Gee picked on the Nats once again. He allowed just one run in six innings, a two-out RBI single by Kurt Suzuki in the fourth. He had a final line of 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, and has now allowed just two runs in 18.2 innings against the Nats this season. He has a 5.55 ERA against all other teams. Throughout this entire game, the Nationals struggled offensively. They managed only seven hits, three of which came from Suzuki. Anthony Rendon, who got off to a scorching start after his callup, has fallen back to earth a bit, going 0-12 in his last three games.
In the sixth, the Mets struck their final blow. Three hits and a sacrifice fly off Stammen yielded two more runs, putting the score at its eventual final of 5-1. Carlos Torres and LaTroy Hawkins threw a combined three one-hit innings to close the game out, while Fernando Abad threw two scoreless innings of his own to limit the damage.
Back at .500, the Nationals are showing a frustrating inability to be consistently good. Yesterday’s win was named their biggest of the season, but they promptly dropped the next game against that same team and a much weaker starter. Fans are waiting for Bryce Harper to return and be the team’s savior, and he may well be. But if the Nats can’t still win with Harper out, what is left? The main reason the Nats still have hope to win the division is the struggles of the Braves. The Nats have played .500 ball all season, and been within two games of .500 since May 19th (h/t Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington), but the Braves have been just two games above .500 since starting the season 12-1. The Nats are still alive in the division race, but maybe only because 90 wins could win this division.
Next Game: Tomorrow in New York (NL), 1:10 PM. Gonzalez (4-3, 3.31) v. Wheeler (1-0, 3.18)