Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Nats Offense Breaks Out In Blowout Win Over Rays

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Jun 16, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Tanner Roark (57) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Roark Takes Advantage Of Run Support

With Stephen Strasburg and Doug Fister soon to make their returns to the rotation, the time could be running out for Roark’s spot in the starting five. That being said, Roark did a great job last night of pitching to the scoreboard and not allowing the Rays to get back in the game.

In seven innings of work, the 28-year-old right-hander went seven innings, gave up one run on six hits, struck out four, and walked one on 112 pitches (69 strikes). The pitch count of 112 was tied for the highest amount of pitches Roark has thrown in an outing in his career.

Not only was Roark’s performance on the mound impressive last night, but his fielding was good as well. In the bottom of the third inning, Roark fielded a ball hit by Joey Butler on one hop with his bare hand to make the out. It was a risky play, but he got the job done.

With the offense giving him a big lead, it was Roark’s job to go out there and throw strikes. He did just that. In addition to throwing 69 strikes, he threw 14 first pitch strikes to the 28 batters he faced. Plus, he gave most of the bullpen the night off by going seven innings and not giving up a home run for the first time since May 13.

All in all, this was a good performance by Roark. Now it will be interesting to see whether he stays a starter or goes back into the bullpen once the other two starters are back. Either way, Roark continues to show the value that he has to this organization.

Next: Nats Use Small Ball To Get Offense Going