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Phillies 8, Nats 5: Roark rocked as winning streak ends at 8

Jun 28, 2015, 8:01 PM EDT


GAME IN A NUTSHELL: After a dazzling performance by Stephen Strasburg in the opener of their doubleheader, the Nationals were hoping for something special out of Tanner Roark in the nightcap. They didn’t get it, nor did they get enough offense against the Phillies’ fill-in starter, Severino Gonzalez, and thus were left to settle for a twinbill split on a long day at Citizens Bank Park.

Roark, summoned out of the bullpen to make the spot start, was tagged for eight runs on 12 hits in only 3 1/3 innings, putting the Nationals in an early hole. They tried to dig their way out of it, but couldn’t take advantage of a laborious Gonzalez (114 pitches in 5 1/3 innings).

The Nats did get towering home runs from Ian Desmond and Jose Lobaton, but not enough to climb all the way back into it. And so they saw their 8-game winning streak come to an end at the end of a really long day at the ballpark.

HITTING HIGHLIGHT: It’s been a difficult season for Desmond, but maybe, just maybe, he’s starting to come out of his slump at the plate. His fourth-inning home run certainly was among his best offensive highlights of the season. Desmond destroyed a pitch from Gonzalez to deep left-center field, the ball landing in the last of about 20 rows that make up the bleachers here. At 458 feet, it was the longest home run hit at Citizens Bank Park this season. And it left Desmond 5 for his last 15, with two homers during that stretch. That can only be viewed as a positive sign for the struggling shortstop.

PITCHING LOWLIGHT: This wasn’t exactly an easy assignment for Roark, who entered Game 1 knowing he might be needed out of the bullpen if Stephen Strasburg got knocked out early. And the Phillies didn’t exactly crush the ball against him, certainly not early on; four of their first six hits either never left the infield or were perfectly placed groundballs that sneaked their way through. But Roark also struggled to put away hitters when he had the chance, as evidenced by the zero strikeouts he recorded in 3 1/3 innings. He wound up taking a bit of one for the team, needed to pitch the fourth in an attempt to keep the bullpen from throwing more than absolutely necessary.

KEY STAT: The 12 hits allowed by Roark tied the club record, set six times previously: Jason Marquis, John Lannan, Shawn Hill (twice) and Livan Hernandez (twice).

UP NEXT: The Nationals will take a much-needed day off before continuing their road trip Tuesday night in Atlanta. It’ll be Jordan Zimmermann (5-5, 3.42) vs. Shelby Miller (5-3, 1.94) in the opener at 7:10 p.m.

  1. nattygoats - Jun 28, 2015 at 8:05 PM

    Great run guys. Way to fight back. Tanner was horrible.

  2. David Proctor - Jun 28, 2015 at 8:08 PM

    Roark has not been good all year. He’s had some good outings, a few good starts, but he’s been rather bad overall. He’s never been a strikeout guy, but he can’t strike ANYONE out right now and you just can’t succeed that way. He’s striking out significantly less than Doug Fister did last year.

    Overall, you can’t win them all. 8 game win streak, those usually end in a clunker.

    • stoatva - Jun 28, 2015 at 8:14 PM

      We go out of our way to say that pitchers have their routines and their roles and they get in trouble when they get outside them. But Roark has had no defined role at all, he’s been yanked back and forth, and finally got handed this start on 24 hours notice. That’s unreasonable. As far as we know he’s been a good team player and done his best, regardless, but this is no way to handle a quality pitcher.

      Personally, I’d have gone with Gio in the second game, but everyone’s heard that already.

      • ccallahan15 - Jun 29, 2015 at 8:40 AM


      • ccallahan15 - Jun 29, 2015 at 8:42 AM

        That is +10 on the Tanner getting yanked around. He’s down whatever’s asked in whatever role. I don’t think gio would have done better.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 28, 2015 at 8:32 PM

      Hard to argue with that David even with as much as I like Tanner.

      • scmargenau - Jun 29, 2015 at 12:27 AM

        East to argue that. See below

    • scmargenau - Jun 29, 2015 at 12:27 AM

      U contradicted yourself in two sentences. He’s been good at times bad at others. He’s been in an awkward position all year with zero consistency. Overtime he’s been superb and should be a starter on a regular schedule.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 29, 2015 at 7:59 AM

        That’s the inconsistency. Roark can usually foreshadow his own appearances success/failure quickly based on fastball pinpoint command. It just wasn’t there and he knows it. He almost got away with it against a split squad roster except he got burned twice by the opposing pitcher who twice started rallies.

  3. stoatva - Jun 28, 2015 at 8:08 PM

    The way I see it the Phillies won this one yesterday.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 28, 2015 at 8:31 PM

      I honestly don’t. The Nats had a better lineup with the off-day and Roark just laid an egg.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 28, 2015 at 8:33 PM

        Off-day is what I’m referring to yesterday. I guess it should be debacle-day.

      • stoatva - Jun 28, 2015 at 8:36 PM

        They were going to get the off day anyway. There was essentially zero chance that five innings of baseball could be completed yesterday, as everyone knew.

        The strange idea that’s taken hold is that there was nothing the Nats could do to avoid wasting Gio. That’s ridiculous.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 28, 2015 at 8:38 PM

        I’m not disagreeing with you but maybe MW thought they could get 5 innings in.

      • Toot D. Blan - Jun 28, 2015 at 9:08 PM

        MW “was told” there was a window to get the game in yesterday. At some point early in his life, he “was told” there is a Santa Claus. I wonder if he still believes that too?

      • scmargenau - Jun 29, 2015 at 12:30 AM

        Wait. There is no Santa? Stop it,

  4. scnatsfan - Jun 28, 2015 at 8:40 PM

    That we are winning with the lineup was amazing. We lost to a AAA team but right now we aren’t much above that with our injuries.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 28, 2015 at 8:46 PM

      Rendon is missing and replaced by Espinosa is really the only player missing that I’m concerned about right now as Taylor is doing a better job than Werth and CRob/TyMo are better than RZim.

      It might not be the starting 8 you expected but this team with great pitching is a very good team as they showed against the Pirates, Braves and Game 1 & 2 of this series.

      • infideljack - Jun 29, 2015 at 12:17 AM

        They tried to show it today with 5 runs and a few balls (CR’s al ost 2 run shot and desi’s line shot at 3rd, to name 2) that would have made it a different game.

  5. Joe Seamhead - Jun 28, 2015 at 8:44 PM

    Other then that it was to the Phillies, this loss didn’t bother me as much as some others. To start with, no Denard Span, Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, Wilson Ramos. You had your # 6 pitcher, and yes, we’d like Tanner Roark to shine in every role, but it isn’t going to happen. Meanwhile, with the off day tomorrow all of those guys get to recharge their batteries. Also, virtually everybody got some playing time today. The Nats won a series on the road, Stras threw 133 pitches and looked good doing it. Desi had a few decent at bats.Overall the bullpen looked good. Put this one behind you, enjoy the day off, and go kick some ass in Atlanta!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 28, 2015 at 8:47 PM

      Agreed, not bothered in the least.

    • Joe Seamhead - Jun 28, 2015 at 10:41 PM

      113 pitches.sorry for the typo.

      • scmargenau - Jun 29, 2015 at 12:33 AM

        I winced when I saw 133

    • infideljack - Jun 29, 2015 at 12:13 AM

      And remember, we were facing Cy Gonzalez. Ok, we still scored 5 runs with the 4A squad and suffered witha a BABIP that favored the Fillies.

      • Toot D. Blan - Jun 29, 2015 at 9:30 AM

        But their Cy Gonzalez was better than our Cy Gonzalez!

  6. Dave - Jun 29, 2015 at 9:44 AM

    Of course I wish Tanner had been better. But for heaven’s sake, when he got to the ballpark yesterday he didn’t know whether he’d be pitching out of the pen or starting. Mental preparation must play a role in this baseball-pitching thing–a line of work that I must admit is a huge mystery to me.

    Shake it off, rest today, and have at the Braves on Tuesday.

  7. raleighnat - Jun 29, 2015 at 11:23 AM

    I love Tanner Roark. I think he might be my favorite Nat…what a story and what a guy – anything for the team. He has had a remarkable run the next few years. I know he faced adversity yesterday and has been yanked around a lot all year. So I don’t want to read too much into yesterday. But if we want to remain a top tier team next year, it would really help if Tanner is the best #4 or #5 starter in baseball again. I hope the way he’s handled this year doesn’t hurt him next year when we will need him as an important part of the rotation.





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