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Blue Jays 8, Nats 0: Buehrle cruises, Jordan roughed up

Jun 3, 2015, 9:17 PM EST

USA Today Sports Images

GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Needing a win to avoid their second straight series loss, the Nationals turned to Taylor Jordan, filling in for the injured Stephen Strasburg, and hoped for the best. They didn’t get anything close to the young right-hander’s best, though, and with Mark Buehrle in peak form for the Blue Jays, they never really had a chance to take this game and this series.

Jordan was roughed up for seven runs in six innings, four of those runs coming during a painful top of the first in which Toronto’s first four batters all reached base. Jordan did recover enough to give the Nats six innings and not force Matt Williams to burn up his bullpen, but that wasn’t much of a silver lining to this one.

It might not have mattered how well Jordan or anyone else on the Nationals’ staff pitched, because Buehrle was flawless. The veteran lefty expertly used his sinker to induce groundball after groundball after groundball, pitching at a ridiculously quick pace and going the distance on only 93 pitches. That helped turn this game into a laugher, with the Nationals never seriously threatening to make it interesting.

HITTING LOWLIGHT: Nobody looked especially comfortable at the plate against Buehrle, but Ryan Zimmerman had an especially rough night because he was one of the few Nationals who came up to bat with runners in scoring position. After Yunel Escobar and Bryce Harper singled with one out in the fourth, Zimmerman had a chance to get his team on the board. He instead struck out on four pitches. Two innings later, Harper delivered a 2-out double to right, again presenting Zimmerman an opportunity. This time, Zim sent a fly ball to left, ending that potential rally in a hurry.

PITCHING LOWLIGHT: After a strong start to his season in Syracuse and a solid outing in relief of Strasburg last weekend, the Nationals were hoping for good things out of Jordan. But his first inning was so ragged, that became an impossible task. Jordan walked Jose Reyes on four pitches to start the game, then gave up a double and two singles. It’s possible the right-hander was too strong when he took the mound, actually throwing through his sink. Once he got tired a bit, Jordan’s pitches were finally down in the zone. But it was too late for it to matter much on this night.

KEY STAT: Buehrle has thrown back-to-back complete games for the first time since 2004.

UP NEXT: The Cubs come to town for a 4-game weekend series and Round 2 of Bryce Harper vs. Kris Bryant. It’ll be Gio Gonzalez (4-2, 4.73) vs. Jake Arrieta (4-4, 3.18) on the mound at 7:05 p.m. Thursday.

  1. Eric - Jun 3, 2015 at 9:19 PM

    Tyler Moore with another hyper awkward diving effort, athough at least this time he achieved horizontal movement while airborn.

  2. Just. Dave - Jun 3, 2015 at 9:19 PM

    Fire the manager!

  3. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 3, 2015 at 9:20 PM

    You’re never going to win a game if you score 0 runs. I would have felt worse losing 1-0. Nothing good to say except Bryce Harper came to play.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:12 PM

      I wish everyone would play like Harper.

  4. David Proctor - Jun 3, 2015 at 9:20 PM

    Rendon is due back by this weekend. He’s already played more games than Span and Werth did on their rehab. Obviously it depends on how he feels, both timing and health-wise, but it would not shock me if he’s in the lineup tomorrow. I’m not expecting it, but I’m not sure how much he benefits from, say, one or two extra rehab games.

  5. Hiram Hover - Jun 3, 2015 at 9:27 PM

    Well, they didn’t get swept this series. So that’s something.

  6. manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2015 at 9:28 PM

    I don’t agree that he had a solid outing against the Reds as we led and he let the lead go.

    Today we asked him to keep us in the game so we might have a chance. That he didn’t come close to doing.

    Our starters could learn 2 things from Burhle. First field well. Second pitch a complete game. That is his third of the season and second in a row.

    You bullpen can’t screw it up if you go all the way.

    • stoatva - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:57 PM

      Successful sac bunt, too.

  7. senators69 - Jun 3, 2015 at 9:32 PM

    Cupboard of AAA pitchers ready to play in the bigs right now is looking pretty bare at the moment. Who will step up while the Nats have an opening? Jordan? Hill? Cole? I think Cole is a can of corn. Maybe Hill? Have to re-evaluate the Nats farm system…
    On the batting side, I’m hoping MTaylor is taking close notes when Harper is at bat…Stop the SOs!

    • npb99 - Jun 3, 2015 at 9:40 PM

      Yes, seems like we’ve had a steady stream of AAA starters and relievers get a shot this year, and it hasn’t been an impressive show.

  8. nattygoats - Jun 3, 2015 at 9:41 PM

    Fans should be able to redeem tonight’s ticket stubs for a future game. Team quit after the top of the first. Get Zimm out of the 5 th spot

    • natfan33 - Jun 3, 2015 at 9:44 PM

      Where should Zimm be batting? 8th?

      • nattygoats - Jun 3, 2015 at 9:45 PM

        6th. Ramos 5th

      • senators5 - Jun 3, 2015 at 9:58 PM

        Would it matter? With the exception of Spann, Harper and Escobar no one and certainly RZ are helping this team offensively right now. The BP once a strength has turned to less than mediocre, with the exception of Storen and he is a closer with nothing to close.The only good thing is the Nats are in the NL East, which gives them a chance. Any other division, no chance.

      • adcwonk - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:06 PM

        Any other division, no chance.

        C’mon — are we going to repeat the panic mode that we had in April? After the great stretch, we expected a thus of sorts — helped on with a few injuries. A decent Fister and SS will change things. So will the return of our excellent CF/leadoff guy.

      • richardp6 - Jun 4, 2015 at 10:44 AM

        Zimm must be affected by his plantar fasciitis. His power is down and hits too many weak groundballs. maybe instead of moving him down in the lineup, he should be given some time off as well. Since the bullpen makes every game worse, why not?

        The bigger problem for this team are their miscues. I don’t care if they win the division, poor fundamental play will be exposed in the playoffs. Do they have a kangaroo court? Its a way to make them accountable on a day to day basis. What MW is doing behind the scenes would be interesting to know.

    • Hiram Hover - Jun 3, 2015 at 9:57 PM

      ZIm out of the 5 hole. Desi out of the 2 hole. Maybe MW could just re-number the slots–this batting order goes to 11!

      • manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:16 PM

        How about like we were kids (maybe it was only in my neighborhood so maybe this won’t make sense.

        Have Harper bat every at bat, and have ghost runners for him when he makes base and has come back to bat.

        Surely my neighborhood is the only one that did that.

  9. rlndtln - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:00 PM

    Give Treinen a shot at starting where he will fit better than pen.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:45 PM

      I was thinking give him Saturday’s start

  10. David Proctor - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:09 PM

    Some perspective:

    But I still think we need bullpen help

    • Hiram Hover - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:15 PM

      I agree about the BP.

      But the BP didn’t lose the game tonight, or last night either.

      Line up needs some help too. Hopefully Rendon will supply some–though I hesitate to expect too much at first.

    • chaz11963 - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:41 PM

      Yep, and weren’t they 27-26 in 2013? I want to be optimistic too, but don’t see how they can have another May run.

      • David Proctor - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:45 PM

        2013 was done in by a 6 game losing streak after the All Star Break. The Braves also won 96 games. What other team in the NL East is going to do that this year? If we had gone .500 against the Braves that year, we make the postseason.

        Home field advantage hasn’t worked for us in two tries. Maybe we don’t have the best record in the NL. But if the Giants have shown us anything, all you have to do is get in.

        We had that May run with awful production from Strasburg, no Rendon and bad Fister. You think that will all continue? The bullpen is the only troubling thing I see going forward and that can be fixed with a trade.

  11. David Proctor - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:18 PM

    Mets are refusing to take the lead in the division. Losing again tonight 4-0

    • stoatva - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:37 PM

      Looks like they’ll go 2-4 first time through the six man rotation

  12. manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:20 PM

    We will win the division easily. Same damn negative Nellie’s who were gone during the winning have returned.

    Why are they are missing when we are winning? That is the best time to join us.

    • Hiram Hover - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:38 PM

      The negative NellIes take no joy in victory. For goat/SWM, this is as good as it gets.

      • manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:47 PM

        I believe if you just love the negative that would be a miserable life.

        I love winning and cheering winning.

      • Hiram Hover - Jun 3, 2015 at 11:10 PM

        I agree – life has to be pretty miserable if trolling is what brings you happiness.

  13. stoatva - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:36 PM

    On the bright side, that sure was a quick game.

  14. chaz11963 - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:39 PM

    Am I dreaming or does it seem like 2009?

    • adcwonk - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:42 PM

      In 2009 at this point in the season, Nats were 17-1/2 games out of first place already, and an astounding 23 games under .500

      So, must be a nightmare you’re having.

    • Toot D. Blan - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:47 PM

      Well, Clint was back at the ballpark last night. That’s shades of 2009 right there.

  15. adcwonk - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:40 PM

    Bottom of the 5th, Padres score three more (thus far) — take a 7-0 lead over the Mets in the bottom of the 5th — a guy on first and still nobody out.

  16. stoatva - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:43 PM

    Not that it made any difference to the outcome of the game, but it still makes me nuts when MW lets a completely gassed pitcher bat, futilely, in the fifth or sixth inning only to see him get shellacked in the top of the inning. Seen that repeatedly this year.

    • adcwonk - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:50 PM

      In this case, he just wanted to save as many BP innings as possible

      • stoatva - Jun 3, 2015 at 11:08 PM

        In this case, one.

    • manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:51 PM

      What gets me is who the conditioning coach? Our pitcher get gassed way too often.

      Listened to Gaylord Perry last week and said pitchers in the 70’s rarely got gassed like pitchers today. 300 innings or so was pitched by 15-20 pitchers.

      • Hiram Hover - Jun 3, 2015 at 11:13 PM

        And remember how we we used to walk five miles in the snow to school and back, uphill– both ways?

  17. manassasnatsfan - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:44 PM

    Padres putting a hurting on Mets tonight so it appears we will stay in first.

    • drazthegr8 - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:50 PM

      I’m not exactly scoreboard watching – the Mets are terrible, as is the rest of the NL east. We will win the division.

      However, I’d like to see us being able to score runs consistently – I’m not worried about the bullpen as we have a lot of young arms learning on the fly… but the hitting has been inconsistent for a few years. I’m hopeful that Rendon will provide a spark, as Span, Escobar, Rendon and Harper could be a really potent top of the lineup. But, since we have such a weak division, I’m concerned we will not be tested in the regular season and then go out with a whimper in October.

  18. thewerthwhisperer - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:51 PM

    Surely Burhle had our number
    8 to zip, Now tis time to slumber
    My friends fret not, nor be afraid
    Of more nights like this, Taylor-made.

    • adcwonk - Jun 3, 2015 at 10:57 PM

      Well done!

      May you continue with many more — particularly the kind that speak of victory!

  19. veejh - Jun 4, 2015 at 1:13 AM

    All that matters is getting into the post season. Anything can happen then. Piece of cake. Quit freaking out everyone, it’s still the beginning of June. Sheesh. We got the goods.

  20. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 4, 2015 at 2:25 AM

    Rockies just walked off on the Dodgers scoring 3 in the 9th.

  21. coop202 - Jun 4, 2015 at 5:49 AM

    Would love to see solis getting a spot start if we need another (assuming we do and it somehow lines up). I fully expect zimm to go on a second half tear as he’s done In the past (thinking 2013 I believe after an awful start). Looking forward to having rendon back in the lineup. Not terribly worried overall. Would love a Cubs series win though! Seems we’ve had their number in recent years

  22. Dorothy LaRussoi - Jun 4, 2015 at 10:04 AM

    After Jordan walked the first batter, someone should have gone to the mound to calm him down. Ramos and the infield could have helped.

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