Pitching is not what has plagued the Nationals this season. Despite featuring the owner of baseball's worst ERA, Dan Haren, Washington has still pitched its way to one of the best team numbers in the Major Leagues.
After his last start, the Nationals placed Haren on the disabled list with shoulder stiffness. In his place they bring skilled right-hander Taylor Jordan, who has been dominant in multiple levels of the Minors.
"I think the one thing that stands out the most is his fastball command," said Double-A Harrisburg manager Matt LeCroy. "In his outings, he's pretty much commanded the baseball. He has another thing he does really well. He slows the game down and takes it one pitch at a time, and that's something that's hard to teach. It's been pretty amazing to watch. He's quick to the plate, holds runners well. So we're proud of the work he's put in and all the strides he's made since [undergoing his Tommy John surgery]."
Jordan went 2-1 with a 1.24 ERA for Class A Potomac to start the year, before being promoted to Harrisburg. With the Senators, Jordan was 7-0 with a 0.83 ERA and 43 strikeouts in nine games
Washington now turns to him as it tries to maintain its momentum. The Nationals rose above .500 with a 6-4 win over the Mets on Friday, rallying after Cy Young Award contender Matt Harvey left the game. The problem, though, has been sustaining momentum
Washington has strung together more than two wins once all month as the offense continues to scuffle. On Saturday, they face Dillon Gee and look to overcome the surprising success he's encountered against the Nationals.
Gee has posted a 4.82 ERA on his way to a 5-7 record, but he is 5-1 with a 2.70 ERA in eight career starts against Washington.
Nationals: Desmond's tear
Ian Desmond homered for the second consecutive game on Friday, as the shortstop has continued to be one of the hottest hitters in baseball. He went 2-for-4 and smacked the go-ahead RBI double in the ninth inning to propel the Nationals to their 6-4 win. Desmond is batting .276 on the season and has topped the .300 mark in June, with eight home runs.
Mets: Young's impact
Eric Young Jr. went 1-for-5 in the Mets' 6-4 loss to the Nationals on Friday, but he's now hit safely in eight of his first nine games with New York. He's become a solution, at least temporarily, for a Mets top of the order that has lacked stability all season.
"He's made a huge impact with us," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "When you look at what our leadoff hitters were doing until he got here, the impact is monumental for us. He's on base, he's in scoring position all the time."
• While Gee's had success against the Nationals in the past, some of the newer members of the team have figured him out. Outfielder Denard Span, in his first season with Washington, is a career .333 hitter against Gee and catcher Kurt Suzuki, in his first full season with the Nationals, has batted .286 against Gee.
• In just more than two weeks, Jordan will return to Citi Field for the Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game.
David Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.