NEW YORK (AP) - Taylor Jordan jogged to the mound, skipped a warmup toss to the backstop and then fielded an easy comebacker for the first out.
From Double-A prospect to the bigs, just like that.
Jordan made his major league debut Saturday and kept Washington close. The Nationals' defense doomed him, however, in a 5-1 loss to the New York Mets.
``I wasn't as nervous as I thought I was going to be,' Jordan said.
The 24-year-old Jordan earned his promotion after going a combined 9-1 with a 1.00 ERA in Double-A and Class A this year. He got to Citi Field faster than many anticipated - he already was scheduled to represent the Nationals on the same field in two weeks in the All-Star Futures game.
``I liked what I saw. First good outing,' manager Davey Johnson said.
Jordan (0-1) lasted 4 1-3 innings. He gave up three runs, although a pair of errors by third baseman Ryan Zimmerman helped make two of them unearned.
Jordan gave up five hits, walked two, hit a batter and struck out one. He also collected a few souvenirs - the ball from his first pitch, the ball from fanning pitcher Dillon Gee for his first strikeout, and another ball after he lined a single up the middle for his first big league hit.
The right-hander hit 95 mph on the stadium radar gun, featuring a delivery where he whips the ball behind his back and then slings it to the plate. He's in the rotation while struggling Dan Haren is on the disabled list, and Johnson previously said he expected Jordan to get at least a couple of starts.
Watched by his parents, family members and friends who came from as far as Colorado and Florida, Jordan started out by throwing 10 straight fastballs.
He wasn't particularly pleased with the results.
``Just had a lot of trouble commanding my fastball for the most part. Wish I threw more strikes,' he said. ``I feel like the whole game I really didn't have my fastball.'
Jordan arrived in New York on Friday. He had plenty of company Saturday - first baseman Adam LaRoche talked to him on the mound before the first pitch, and the entire infield visited Jordan after he issued a two-out walk and then hit a batter in the first inning.
After Jordan escaped the early jam, shortstop Ian Desmond waited to give Jordan a handshake outside the dugout. Desmond understood what Jordan was going through.
``Everything's kind of going fast forward. Just give him a chance to catch his breath, look around,' Desmond said. ``Sometimes you don't remember it when you're going through it, the first one. Try to give him a second to check everything out.'
Gee beat Washington for the third time this season and the Mets scored the go-ahead run when Zimmerman and Desmond made errors on the same strange play.
Daniel Murphy delivered three hits and first baseman Josh Satin started a pair of nifty double plays for the Mets. The Nationals fell back to .500, losing to the team with the worst home record in the majors.
Gee (6-7) gave up one run in six innings, working around six hits and three walks.
The right-hander has excelled against the Nationals, permitting just two runs in 18 2-3 innings this year while accounting for half of his win total. He's 6-1 lifetime against them - Gee hasn't beaten any other opponent more than three times.
Murphy got the Mets' first hit with two outs in the third. It was 1-all in the fifth when Murphy led off with a single and took second on a groundout.
Marlon Byrd followed with a hard bouncer that handcuffed Zimmerman and deflected in the air, where Desmond alertly caught the ball with his bare hand on the edge of the outfield grass.
But Desmond tried an off-balance throw to get Murphy at third, and he skipped an awkward toss. The ball hit Murphy in the hip and skittered away, and he hustled home and slid in ahead of Zimmerman's throw. Kirk Nieuwenhuis added a sacrifice fly for a 3-1 lead.
Eric Young Jr. had a sacrifice fly, and Byrd had an RBI single in the sixth.
NOTES: Washington tied a season high with three errors. ... Nationals LHP Ross Detwiler had stiffness in his lower back after Friday night's start. He was on the disabled list earlier this season for a strain in his back. Manager Davey Johnson says that if Detwiler can't make his next start, RHP Ross Ohlendorf will fill in. ... Mets rookie RHP Zack Wheeler (1-0, 3.18) makes his home debut Sunday vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (4-3, 3.31).
The Associated Press News Service
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