Washington Nationals: Tanner Roark putting his rotation spot in jeopardy

bfinney
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 08: Tanner Roark #57 of the Washington Nationals pitches in the first inning during a baseball game against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park on July 8, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 08: Tanner Roark #57 of the Washington Nationals pitches in the first inning during a baseball game against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park on July 8, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

After the Washington Nationals claimed series in impressive fashion over the first three games, Tanner Roark laid a dud in the finale in a 10-2 loss.

The Washington Nationals appear to be making huge strides in getting back in the national league East race. But Tanner Roark couldn’t steer them to a fourth straight win over the Miami Marlins.

Roark’s rotation spot could easily be in jeopardy now, as he doesn’t appear to be the pitcher he was to start the year. Mike Rizzo could easily trade for a replacement, with his underperformance and past experience as a reliever.

In his first 10 starts, Roark had largely been the hard-luck loser of the team. He had an ERA of 3.17, but just a 4-6 record at that point.

More from District on Deck

Now, in his next nine appearances, he possesses a hideous 7.11 ERA, in which the Nats are just 1-7. In that time, it’s not easy to see where the problem lies.

Opponents are hitting .332 against the right-hander in his last nine outings when they were previously hitting .198. He had an unsustainably low BABIP of just .231 to start off with, which was never likely to last.

Now it’s fair to wonder whether Tanner Roark could be replaced in the rotation. His current performance level leaves his team little chance and taxes a heavily worked bullpen. So if this keeps up, Rizzo has no choice to but to acquire a starter.

Murphy drives in only Nats runs

Despite a lot of stranded baserunners, it was good to see Daniel Murphy drive in a couple of runs. He was batting in the seven spot, the first time he’s hit there since the make-up game against the New York Yankees on June 18th.

With some of the team’s hottest hitters ahead of him, in Mark Reynolds and Matt Adams, he had runners on base in three of his four plate appearances. He singled to right field in the second, before driving in another on a sac fly in the third inning.

Over his last 13 games, Murphy is now hitting .256, and while it’s not the Murphy we’re used to, he’s getting closer. He has a BABIP of .238 in that time, yes that’s correct a BABIP lower than his average. That’s near impossible to continue, so expect it to rise in short order.

Reynolds works a perfect third of an inning

With the game over, it was the hero from the first two game, Mark Reynolds who took the mound. He was the first Nationals position player to pitch this year and got, the only batter he faced, Garrett Cooper to ground out.

See the fun moment in all its glory below:

Unsurprisingly, this was Reynolds first time as an emergency pitcher, and will now carry a perfect ERA and WHIP until next time. Although it’s a fun fleeting moment, it just goes to show how the Marlins were way on top and battered the pitching staff.

Next: Fold, stick or twist at the deadline?

Now the Washington Nationals need to keep up some momentum from the series win against the Pittsburgh Pirates. They swept the Buccos in a four-game set back in May, and hope to continue that perfect record.

facebooktwitterreddit