Nats' Taylor Jordan, Danny Espinosa leave game in fifth inning

Nats' Taylor Jordan, Danny Espinosa leave game in fifth inning
April 27, 2014, 6:30 pm
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Pitching through one of his best starts of the young 2014 season, Taylor Jordan was unexpectedly removed after just four innings during the Nationals' loss to the Padres on Sunday afternoon.

After the game it was explained Jordan was dealing with a bad fever, and was lucky to even make it as far as he did. He got little sleep the night before and was nearly scratched before the game.

"I've had this headache since early this morning. I didn't really sleep last night. I just got the chills, I'm hot," he said.

"Towards the end it started to go back towards the back of my head."

The Nationals hooked Jordan after allowing a run through four innings on three hits and two walks. He entered the day with only one quality start through four this season and looked to be turning a corner.

Jordan, however, was showing a significant drop in velocity. His fastball was topping out in the mid-80s, well below the mid-90s heat he dealt in 2013. His velocity has actually been down in recent starts, hovering around 90 miles per hour, but this was certainly unusual.

Manager Matt Williams attributed the lack in velocity to fatigue from his illness.

"He was just weak and didn't feel well at all today," Williams said. "His fastball velocity was way down, he was weak out there. He gave us what he could give us today."

Jordan was replaced after four innings once Williams thought he was slowing down.

"We couldn't let him go any further, he just wasn't feeling well at all," Williams said.

After Jordan left, the Nationals saw relief pitchers Ross Detwiler and Aaron Barrett combine to give up three runs over the next two innings. Detwiler took the loss.

Jordan is set to make one more start before starter Doug Fister comes off the disabled list. At this point all signs point to Fister taking Jordan's spot on the roster when he is ready.

The team has two of the next four days off, giving the Nationals some options with their rotation. Williams, however, does not expect to adjust things to skip Jordan's next start.

"As of right now, we're giving everybody an extra day. With the off days, we can do that. So right now there's no change. Today he just didn't feel well."

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Danny Espinosa also left the game after taking a 78 mile per hour curveball off his right kneecap in the bottom of the second inning. He remained in the game for two more innings before being removed in a double switch.

"Espi took ball of the kneecap," Williams said. "It then started to swell and his spot was the spot when we had to get Taylor out of there. It was the logical thing to do."

Espinosa sported a large bruise on the knee afterwards and said he can see the seams of the baseball in the wound. He does not believe he will miss any time, but will have to see how he feels on Tuesday when the team picks back up in Houston to play the Astros.