Tanner Roark (13-7, 2.99 ERA) vs. Jake Thompson (1-3, 9.78) – 7:05 p.m ET, broadcast on MASN2
Roark had a rough first couple of innings in his last start against the Orioles as he had arguably one of his worst outings of the season. On August 24, he went five innings, gave up four earned runs on seven hits, struck out four, and walked three in a loss.
That loss for Roark was the first loss he had since July 22 against the Padres. Plus, Roark even hit two batters in a row, which led to a run. The 29-year-old right-hander has walked two or more hitter in seven straight starts. With that being said, he still has an ERA of 2.96 over his last eight outings.
Against the Phillies this season, Roark has been dominant. In three starts, he is 2-0 with a 0.86 ERA, has 17 strikeouts in 21 innings, and has held them to a .185 average. Maikel Franco is 4-for-11 against Roark with three RBI’s.
Tonight, the Washington Nationals will face Thompson for the first time. He was one of the pitchers traded to the Phillies from the Rangers for Cole Hamels in July 2015. The 22-year-old right-hander made his Major League debut back in August, but he has failed to go past five innings in any of his four starts.
On August 23 against the White Sox, Thompson went five innings, gave up seven runs on eight hits, struck out two, and walked four in a loss. He has 14 walks in four games and teams are hitting .289 against him.
At triple-A Lehigh Valley this season, Thompson was 11-5 with a 2.50 ERA in 21 starts and held opponents to a .193 average in his last four triple-A starts before being promoted (six walks in 25 innings). According to Fangraphs, Thompson has an average velocity of 91 miles per hour on his fastball to go with a slider, changeup, and curveball.
Prediction: While I think the Washington Nationals lineup will need time to adjust to Thompson, Roark’s numbers are great against a Phillies lineup that struggles to score runs in general. He has not lost back-to-back games all season and I expect that trend to continue tonight.
Next: Tomorrow's Matchup