Since allowing three runs in the first inning against the Marlins back on April 18, Roark has given up just two runs in the last 18 innings he has pitched. In his last outing against the Phillies, he gave up just two hits over seven innings while striking out six and walking two on 99 pitches in a no-decision.
This is the second consecutive start Roark has given up only two hits and gone seven innings. Basically, the 29-year-old right-hander has yet to give up a run unless he is playing the Miami Marlins. But, he has walked two or more batters in each of his five outings.
Roark only faced the Royals one time back on August 23, 2013. In relief of Gio Gonzalez, he went 4.2 innings, gave up one hit, struck out two, and walked one in a game the Nats ended up winning 11-10. Kendrys Morales and Alcides Escobar each have a hit against him in their careers.
As for Chris Young, he does have 26 strikeouts in his first five outings, but teams are hitting .267. Plus, he has given up six home runs and has allowed one home run in every game. In his last start, he gave up two home runs to the Angels over 5.1 innings (three runs allowed) in a 4-2 loss.
The 36-year-old right-hander only gave up 16 home runs last season with KC after giving up 26 with the Mariners in 2014. He is not a pitcher who is going to fool hitters with his fastball.
According to Fangraphs, Young’s average velocity on his fastball is over 87 miles per hour. If it stays there, it would be his highest average velocity since 2008 with San Diego.
Young is 3-2 with a 2.75 ERA in nine career starts against the Nationals, but he hasn’t faced them since he was with the Mets back in 2012. Bryce Harper is 4-for-8 against him with a home run and three RBI’s and Wilson Ramos has homered in both of his at-bats vs. Young.
Prediction: It will be interesting to watch these two pitchers go against other when you consider that they were teammates in 2013 with triple-A Syracuse. The way that Young has been giving up the long ball lately and how Roark has been locked in in his last couple of starts, I will take the Nats to take this game behind a strong day from their offense, including Ramos, who is back from the bereavement list.
Next: Wednesday's Matchup