Washington Nationals: Tanner Roark’s gutsy outing goes to waste

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 28: Tanner Roark #57 of the Washington Nationals throws a pitch in the bottom of the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 28, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 28: Tanner Roark #57 of the Washington Nationals throws a pitch in the bottom of the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 28, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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It wasn’t his finest pitching, but Washington Nationals starter Tanner Roark ground out a quality start. Unfortunately, his team couldn’t quite get the W.

On a night where the odds seemed against them beforehand, Tanner Roark gave the Washington Nationals a chance. A bounce-back quality start for the right-hander wasn’t enough to best Aaron Nola and the Phillies.

Roark put in six innings of hard-fought baseball, allowing seven hits, two runs, only one of which was earned. But after allowing home runs in his previous five starts, he didn’t give up a long ball in this one. That kept the score low with so many baserunners.

Leaving the game with just a one-run deficit, and the ever-shaky Phillies bullpen on tap, the Nats had a chance. That was until Ryan Madson gave up a two-run homer and left Roark deeper in the hole for the eventual loss.

More from District on Deck

Despite the hard-luck loss, we have to talk about the interesting facial hair on display from Tanner Roark. Sporting a thick mustache as well as some eye-catching sideburns. After a quality start, we’ll next see the righty, facial hair and all, against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday.

Trea Turner collects two hits

The only Nat to have a multi-hit effort on the night was Trea Turner with two, and a couple of runs to boot. Despite the team’s offensive struggles as a whole, he’s been quietly hitting well of late.

In his last 19 games, he has a .284 average with eight runs while hitting all across the lineup in that span. But the pace he was on for walks has slowed down, with eight in those 19 games.

As one of the few hitters on the team having a successful run of late, expect to see him in the heart of the lineup. But with Adam Eaton seeming like the odd-man out in the outfield, Turner could move to the leadoff spot too if needed.

Brandon Kintzler makes a successful return

With a three-run deficit heading into the bottom of the eighth, it was the ideal time for Brandon Kintzler to return. Davey Martinez put him in with little pressure, to get his feet wet, and it worked.

Kintzler proceeded to sit down the three hitters he faced for the team’s only 1-2-3 inning on the night. The inning included a nice play to rob Jorge Alfaro of a bunt base hit.

The Nationals are thankful that his forearm injury was nothing serious and he’s already back on the mound. He may need a couple more low-leverage spots to ensure that it’s all fine, but he could be huge for this bull moving forward.

Next: Grading the Nats Bats

Now the Washington Nationals face Nick Pivetta on Friday, who they’ve had success against. Could it finally be time for Erick Fedde to get some good fortune for a change? We’ll see.

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