Washington Nationals: 5 to watch as surging Mets come to D.C.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 01: Asdrubal Cabrera
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Washington Nationals
ST. LOUIS, MO – JUNE 30: Starter Tanner Roark #57 of the Washington Nationals delivers a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals in the second inning at Busch Stadium on June 30, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

Tanner Roark

Right now, you can say the biggest concern in the Washington Nationals rotation is Tanner Roark. The 30-year-old right-hander is coming off of one of the worst months of his professional career. In June, he went 1-4 with a 8.31 ERA in six starts and opponents hit .338.

You could say Roark has already hit rock bottom after one of his worst outings of his career against the St. Louis Cardinals Friday night. He went three innings, gave up three runs on four hits, walked five, and struck out two on 85 pitches.

One of the main problems Roark had in that outing was that he was unable to command his fastball. During the third inning, he was throwing curveballs with the bases loaded and a 3-2 count to Yadier Molina. When he’s able to get his fastball over for strikes, that’s when Roark struggles.

Roark faced the Mets on April 21 and picked up a no-decision in that game. He went 6.2 innings, gave up three runs (two home runs) on seven hits, struck out five, and walked three in a no-decision. If Curtis Granderson is in the lineup, he is 9-for-27 with a home run and six RBI’s lifetime against Roark.

Even if Roark is on his best day, he’s going to have a tough time outpitching Jacob deGrom. deGrom, who has averaged eight innings per start in his last four games, has given up only four runs during this stretch. One of those was a win over the Nats back on June 18 (2-1, 2.61 ERA in three starts against Washington this year).