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Roark Makes Two Mistakes, But Shows Progress
It’s been a difficult season for Tanner Roark as he has had to go back-and-forth from the bullpen to the starting rotation. Coming into last night’s start against the Braves, Roark had failed to make it past the fifth inning in any of his prior four outings.
However, that changed last night as the 28-year-old right-hander went 6.2 innings, gave up two runs on five hits, struck out four, and walked one on 104 pitches in a loss. Although he only threw 12 first pitch strikes to the 25 batters he faced, 64 of his 104 total pitches were strikes. Plus, he induced 11 groundball outs, which was the highest groundball out total Roark has had since June 28 of this season against the Phillies.
The only two mistakes the right-hander made were against Atlanta’s catcher, A.J. Pierzynski. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Roark left a 1-1 curveball out over the plate and Pierzynski took advantage of the mistake by hitting a solo shot to center field. Then, two innings later, Pierzynski worked an eight-pitch at-bat that ended in hitting a fastball over the wall in right center for a solo shot.
Even in a down year offensively for Pierzynski, the veteran catcher has three of his 11 home runs against Washington and has driven in 14 runs to go with a .302 batting average. Coming into last night’s game, he only had one home run in his last 175 at-bats. Home runs have been a problem for Roark all season as he has given up a season high 17 homers this year.
Despite getting the loss last night, Roark can take away a lot of confidence from this game in that he went deep into the game and held the opponent to two runs. If last night was any indication, Roark made a good impression on the organization in one of his final outings of the year, even in defeat.
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