(BaseballStL) — St. Louis heads into the nation’s capital for a taste of something new Thursday. Nationals starter Taylor Jordan, in his first full season, has never faced the Cardinals. The 25-year-old has just 63 innings of work in the majors. He’s surrendered 75 hits, 27 earned runs and struck out 37 to the 15 he’s walked.
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Jordan a sinker ball pitcher, throwing it even more than his fastball. To lefties he starts with the sinker 59 percent of the time, and throws it consistently throughout all counts. The only pitch he likes more to lefties is his change up- but only when there’s two strikes. Jordan pulls the strong nearly half the time when he’s got two strikes on a southpaw.
He works consistently down in the zone, something you would expect from a pitcher who favors a sinker. He gets a lot of ground balls this way. Almost half of all the batted balls in play against Jordan result in a ground ball.
There is no such mystery for Washington. Adam Wainwright has faced Nationals hitters many times, with varying degrees of success.
The one truth that emerges is the more he faces them, the worse they do. The three batters that have seen him less than 15 at bats but more than 10 are hitting .405 with an OPS of .958.
The three who have seen him more than 15 at bats are hitting .225 and posting an OPS of .686. That first group includes Bryce Harper, Nate McLouth and Ian Desmond.
The latter is Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and Adan LaRoche.
St. Louis has beaten the Nationals eight straight times in the regular season coming into the game.