Washington Nationals' starter Taylor Jordan hit Milwaukee Brewers' shortstop Jean Segura on the left wrist with an 0-2 fastball too far inside to put the first runner of the game on in the second at bat of this morning's 4th of July series finale in the nation's capital. Segura stole second without a throw before Carlos Gomez grounded to third for the second out of the inning, then scored when the Nats' starter gave up an RBI single to center on a 1-1 fastball to Brewers' catcher Jonathan Lucroy. 1-0 Milwaukee after a half inning in Nationals Park. 20-pitch inning for Taylor Jordan.
Asked this morning why he'd moved Ian Desmond to the two-spot for this morning's game, Nats' manager Davey Johnson told reporters, "I don't know. I'm supposed to do something," after his offense once again struggled in last night's loss. Desmond lined the first pitch he saw from Brewers' starter Donovan Hand to center for a one-out single in his first at bat, then stole second with Bryce Harper at the plate. Harper walked when Hand missed with a 3-1 sinker, but Ryan Zimmerman K'd looking at a 2-2 fastball outside for out no.2 of the Nats' first in the next at bat. Adam LaRoche stepped in with two on and two out, however, and lined a 1-1 curve to right for an RBI single that drove Desmond in and tied it up at 1-1 and Jayson Werth got a 1-0 fastball he liked and lined it to center for the second-straight run-scoring, two-out hit, bringing Bryce Harper in from third with the single to make it 2-1 over Milwaukee after one.
Given a one-run lead to work with, Taylor Jordan threw a quick, 10-pitch, 1-2-3 inning with the only drama coming when Anthony Rendon bobbled a one-hop liner to second before throwing to first to retire the opposing pitcher for the third and final out of the Brewers' second. Donovan Hand retired the Nats' 8-9-1 hitters in an 11-pitch, 1-2-3 bottom of the second which left Milwaukee's right-hander at 40 pitches total after two in D.C.
Jean Segura lined a 1-2 fastball softly to right for a one-out hit in the Brewers' third. Taylor Jordan threw a diving 2-1 slider by Carlos Gomez for a swinging strike three and out no.2, but Segura stole second on a delayed steal on a 2-0 pitch to Jonathan Lucroy that missed in the next AB. Jordan got to a full count with Milwaukee's catcher, and got a groundout to short to end a scoreless, 22-pitch third at 52 pitches overall.
Ian Desmond bunted his way on to start the Nationals' third, then took second when Brewers' third baseman Juan Francisco committed an error on an ill-advised throw to first on the play. Bryce Harper walked for the second time in two at bats to put two runners on. Jonathan Lucroy threw to second when the Nats tried a double steal and Harper was dead-to-rights and caught in a rundown, but Desmond wandered far enough off third to draw a throw and quickly retreated, allowing Harper to safely hustle over to second. Ryan Zimmerman was robbed of an extra base hit by a leaping Carlos Gomez, who made a catch at the wall, but it was good enough for a sac fly and a 3-1 Nationals' lead after three.
Taylor Jordan threw a 1-2 fastball by Juan Francisco up high for the first out of the fourth. Ryan Zimmerman leapt to bring a line drive off Sean Halton's bat down for out no.2 and Logan Schafer lined to short to end a quick, 11-pitch, 1-2-3 fourth that had Jordan at 63 pitches overall. Wilson Ramos went the other way with a first-pitch slider outside from Donovan Hand and lined it to right for an opposite field single, but Taylor Jordan K'd trying to get a sac bunt down and Denard Span grounded into an inning-ending 4-6-3. 3-1 Nats after four in the nation's capital.
Jeff Bianchi flew out to right on the first pitch from Taylor Jordan in the fifth. A diving 1-2 slider from Jordan got the opposing pitcher swinging for out no.2. The Nats' starter had two quick outs on five pitches, but Norichika Aoki connected with a first-pitch fastball and singled to right to leave him 1 for 3 today and 7 for 18 in the Brewers' four-game set in D.C. Ian Desmond barehanded a grounder to short by Jean Segura in the next at bat, however, and threw a strike to first a step ahead of the speedy Brewers' shortstop for out no.3 of a nine-pitch inning that left Taylor Jordan at 72 pitches after five.
A swinging bunt by Ian Desmond got by Donovan Hand and died on the infield grass for a leadoff single in the home-half of the fifth. The Brewers' starter left a 2-2 slider up, but got it by Bryce Harper for a swinging strike three and got a grounder to short from Ryan Zimmerman to start an inning-ending 6-4-3. Still 3-1 Nats after five.
Carlos Gomez got jammed by a 90 mph 0-1 fastball inside, but lined it to left off his fists for a leadoff single in the top of the sixth. Gomez wandered too far around first and almost got himself thrown out, but made it back to the bag ahead of a relayed throw from Bryce Harper to Anthony Rendon and Adam LaRoche. Jonathan Lucroy got jammed too and popped out to Ian Desmond for out no.1, but Juan Francisco's single to right brought Gomez around to cut the Nats' lead in half, 3-2. More poor baserunning by the Brewers led to out no.2, however, as Francisco got caught off first on the play when LaRoche cut Werth's throw in off and threw to Anthony Rendon, who'd cagily snuck in behind the runner. Two down, and that was all for Taylor Jordan.
Taylor Jordan's Line: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 Ks, 85 P, 60 S, 8/2 GO/FO.
Ross Ohlendorf took over for Jordan with two down and walked the first batter he faced, Sean Halton, before Logan Schafer flew to center to end the top of the sixth.
Adam LaRoche lined to right to start the Nationals' half of the sixth inning, then moved to second on a Jayson Werth single to center off Brewers' right-hander Burke Badenhop. Anthony Rendon popped a bunt attempt up, but Brewers' third baseman Juan Francisco committed his second error of the game when he misplayed it on the infield grass and the Nats had the bases loaded with no one out. Wilson Ramos took a 1-1 sinker outside to get ahead in the count and took a 2-1 sinker to center for a two-run single that made it 5-2 Nats. 2 for 3 for Ramos in his return to the lineup. Badenhop. Out. Tom Gorzelanny took over for Milwaukee and got three outs without another run scoring, but it was 5-2 Nats after six in the nation's capital.
Drew Storen took over in the seventh and got one out with one pitch when Jeff Bianchi made the mistake of bunting in Ryan Zimmerman's direction. Yuniesky Betancourt got hold of a 2-2 change up and in and hit a solo home run to left to make it 5-3 Nationals. Storen threw a 93 mph 2-2 fastball by Norichika Aoki for a swinging strike three and out no.2, but Jean Segura lined to right on a 2-2 slider to bring the tying run up in the form of Carlos Gomez, who took a hanging 0-2 slider to left for a game-tying two-run home run. 5-5 game. Jayson Werth connected for a two-out single in the Nationals' seventh, and took a wide turn around first in classic Werth™ fashion. Brandon Kintzler took over with Anthony Rendon due up and walked the Nats' second baseman to bring Wilson Ramos to the plate and BANG!! Three-run home run to left and over the Harris Teeter sign in the back of the visitor's bullpen! GONE! 8-5 Nationals over the Brewers.
Tyler Clippard got a groundout to second from Juan Francisco with a 2-1 change, but walked Rickie Weeks in the second at bat. Logan Schafer popped up behind second where Anthony Rendon made a nice catch after a little adventure. Jeff Bianchi flew out to right. 8-5 Nationals after seven and a half. Brandon Kintzler retired the Nationals in order in the bottom of the eighth and the Nationals' closer emerged from the home team's bullpen...
Pitch it, Soriano! Pitch it, Soriano! Strike him out, Soriano! Strike him out, Soriano!
Rafael Soriano came out in the ninth looking for save no. 22 of 2013. Yunieskly Betancourt flew out to right on the first pitch of the ninth. ONE!! Norichika Aoki, of course, lined to left for a one-out single, leaving him 2 for 5 today and 8 for 20 in the series. Jean Segura walked to put two runners on for pinch hitter Aramis Ramirez, who K'd swinging on a 93 mph 1-2 heater. TWO!! Jonathan Lucroy? Pop to short. Ballgame.
Work's done. Untuck that jersey, son!!!
Nationals now 43-42