The evening started with Brian Goodwin smashing a flyball that was caught by Tommy Pham above the wall to rob Goodwin of a home run. That was probably the foreshadowing of how the game would go in this 8-1 loss. Tanner Roark‘s evening started with a walk and then a single, and he worked out of trouble in the 1st inning. His second inning was a replication of the 1st inning and he labored through that inning without allowing runs, but Roark’s pitch count was at 51-pitches.
The third inning was a meltdown inning and Roark was fortunate to complete it with only giving up 3-runs. Roark’s night ended at 85-pitches and only 3-innings of work. Jacob Turner who had not pitched in 6 days and only pitched one inning in that appearance gave his team 3 2/3 innings. Turner took over in a 3-1 game, and quickly gave up 5-runs in his first inning of work. Turner didn’t give up a run the rest of the night, and Joe Blanton finished up the last 1 1/3 innings.
The Nationals highlights were few on this evening as the only run scored was on a doubleplay hence no RBI awarded. Michael Taylor had two hits off of deflections, and he also was picked-off of first base. The Nationals were 0-6 in RISP spots on the evening. The Nationals could not put together much consistency even though they had baserunners.
The real issue is what do you do with Tanner Roark? His ERA over his last 5 starts is 9.53. He lacks control of the strike zone and his pitch efficiency is the worst in the Majors. His pitches are not getting the movement that Roark normally achieves. Roark should have gone on the DL weeks ago, but now you have to force the issue. It has to be time to get him on the DL and get whatever inflammation he has in his arm and shoulder settled down as that is the general manager’s excuse to get any pitcher on the DL. There is not a pitcher at this point in the season who won’t have some mild inflammation. You can bet that Tanner Roark will once again say he is fine. He is not fine, but whatever is wrong with him is an answer he might not even know how to fix at this point. Hit the restart button.