Taylor Jordan threw a nine-pitch, 1-2-3 first in Sunday afternoon's game in Miami. Washington went up 1-0 in the top of the second when Denard Span's doubled drove in a run. The Marlins got two singles off the Nationals' 24-year-old right-hander in the bottom of the second, but a double play grounder off Greg Dobbs' bat got Jordan out of the inning after eleven pitches. He put two runners on in the third, but the home team ran itself out of a potentially rally. In the fourth, however, Marcell Ozuna singled to left on a first-pitch slider and Marlins' second baseman Derek Dietrich hit an 0-1 fastball out to right field for a two-run home run.
It was just the second home run Taylor Jordan had surrendered in 109 IP to that point between the Class-A Potomac Nationals, Double-A Harrisburg Senators and big league Nationals this season. The first home run surrendered by the Nationals' 09 9th Round pick was back on April 12th in his second start of the season with the High-A P-Nats.
That's 101 IP between home runs for the sinkerball pitcher, who induced another eight groundouts this afternoon from the Marlins' batters. On the year, Jordan's collected 243 groundouts from 354 batters. 68% of the outs he's recorded this season have come via groundout. After four major league starts, the 20th player on MLB.com's list of the Nationals' top prospects before this season is (0-2) with a 3.32 ERA, a 3.57 FIP, one HR (0.42 HR/9) and three walks (1.25 BB/9) allowed and 10 Ks collected (4.15 K/9) in 21 2/3 IP.
After he surrendered his second home run of the year this afternoon, Jordan gave up a single by Marlins' shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria. That earned the Nats' right-hander a visit from pitching coach Steve McCatty. Jordan was at 45 pitches. Three pitches, a 6-4-3 DP and a groundout to third later, the Nationals' starter was through four innings on 48 pitches total.
Jordan gave up a two-out single by Placido Polanco in the fifth, but struck Giancarlo Stanton out for the second time in three at bats with a 2-2 slider. Two more groundouts in a nine-pitch sixth left him at 73 overall in what might have been his last start as part of the Nationals' rotation. His manager was impressed.
"I thought [Jordan] threw the ball well," Johnson told reporters after the game. "He really still had a lot left in the tank. He had a low pitch count. He gave up a lot of hits, [but] other than the pitch he threw to the second baseman, [who] hit it out, I thought he handled himself very well. And I didn't think he had his great stuff today. But he's got a great future. No doubt about it."
So what does the future hold for Taylor Jordan? Ross Detwiler's expected to return from the DL after the All-Star Break. Dan Haren impressed the Nationals in each of his two post-DL stint starts. Jordan is on an as-yet-undefined innings limit in his first full season back following Tommy John surgery. Did Taylor Jordan makes his last start in the majors this season in Miami on Sunday?