Washington Nationals: 5 to watch in Miami

rjuckett
Jun 17, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; The Washington Nationals celebrate after defeating the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 17, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; The Washington Nationals celebrate after defeating the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports /
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TANNER ROARK

June has not been a kind month for Tanner Roark.

After finding his form at the end of May, Roark is 1-2 this month in three starts with an ERA of 6.27. Opponents are hitting .321 in this stretch, crushing four home runs. Already allowing more earned runs than the first two individually, Monday’s start in Miami is important.

Only twice in 14 starts has Roark thrown under 100 pitches, both topped at 97, but four times out Roark failed to go past five. Including his last game, a head scratching pounding by the Atlanta Braves.

Control is not the issue for Roark. Overall, 62 percent of his pitches are strikes. The problem is movement. There is not any and teams make him pay. The Braves rattled him for nine hits and seven earned runs on Flag Day. Before that, the Texas Rangers induced 11 hits and two homers over six. Remember, his 2.83 ERA last year was better than Max Scherzer. You know, the Cy Young winner?

Although the 6-4 record is good, the 4.39 ERA and 1.357 WHIP are not. Both are career-highs. Almost halfway through the season, you can no longer blame is lack of use in the World Baseball Classic as the problem. With a huge division lead, there is plenty of time to work through whatever the issues are.

Roark beat Miami to start his 2017 season, fanning six over six scattering two solo homers.

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