It’s been a mixed bag of results for Roark in the first two games of the season, but the record shows that he is a 2-0 pitcher. Against the Cardinals last Monday, he went five innings, gave up five runs (three earned) on seven hits, and struck out three on 104 pitches (70 strikes).
Roark showed good command of his pitches, but one of the problems he had was that he was elevating his fastball. With that being said, he still had the same number of groundball outs (nine) as his first start against the Miami Marlins.
If it wasn’t for a great play by Stephen Drew in the fifth inning, Roark wouldn’t even have to finished the inning. However, he wasn’t helped out much by a defense that made four errors in the ball game.
With the offense on a tear of late, Roark has benefited from plenty of run support (20 total runs in two games). Now, he makes his third straight home start tomorrow against a team he’s very familiar with.
In five starts against the Phillies last season, Roark was dominant as he went 3-0 with a 0.79 ERA (three runs allowed in 34 innings) and held the Phillies to a .196 average at the plate with one home run (Freddy Galvis). Three of those five starts were at Nats Park (one run allowed in 20 innings).
He has a tough opponent in Jeremy Hellickson, who shut down the Nats last Sunday before leaving the game after the fifth inning due to injury. If Hellickson has that same form tomorrow afternoon, then the fans at Nats Park are in for a good pitcher’s duel.