Washington Nationals: Tanner Roark Faces Biggest Career Test
TANNER ROARK’S GAME
Without question, this is the biggest start in Tanner Roark’s career.
Coming off his best season in his short career, he takes the mound Saturday in his first playoff start, trying to keep the Washington Nationals season afloat. No pressure there. None.
Roark pitched himself into this position. With a 16-10 record and 2.83 ERA, he is ready for the assignment. Remember, his ERA is lower than Scherzer by 0.13 and he allowed 17 regular season home runs instead of the 31 dingers by Scherzer. Although not as dominant as Mad Max, you can expect Roark to throw 100 pitches and six innings if things go well.
In his one start against the Dodgers in 2016, Roark took the loss. At Dodger Stadium on June 21, Roark finished on the wrong side of a 6-5 score. In 7.1 innings, he allowed three runs off six hits and a walk. Holding on to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the eighth, catcher Yasmani Grandal rocked him for a three-run bomb to center. A good effort undone on one pitch.
At home, Roark is 9-6 this season with a 2.72 ERA. In 18 starts, he scattered 93 hits in 112.2 innings. The best stat is only seven of his homers allowed came at Nationals Park.
When you have two top pitchers facing off, as we did with Scherzer and Kershaw in Game 1, the result is a coin flip. Yesterday, that was the case.
As we head into Game 2, this is where the Nationals’ rotation depth exerts itself. The leash for Hill will be short as he battles a continuous finger blister. Roark is the man you want on the mound in these circumstances.