Game #29 starts a 4-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates

Photo by Marlene Koenig for TalkNats

With Tanner Roark on the mound tonight for the Washington Nationals, he will not look the same as his previous start because Roark shaved off the big bristly beard. Roark has been pitching well overall (3.77 ERA) but his last start was not good hence the reason for shaving the beard. He has had 3-gems this season along with 2 games that have not been good.  Roark was beat on two poor hanging curveballs to Brandon Belt and Mac Williamson that were both deposited into San Francisco’s outfield seats, and Williamson’s blast was a tape measure shot of 476 feet. Roark knows the problem, and now he has to correct it to pitch another gem in today’s game.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have Jameson Taillon on the mound tonight, and he has been poor this year overall and carrying a 4.91 ERA. Maybe it was a mistake having Taillon throw a complete game shutout in his second start of the season while throwing 110 pitches. You would think that’s the reason he fell apart in his previous 2 starts which had him going 1 2/3 innings and 3 2/3 innings respectively while giving up a combined 12-runs.

Taillon has reverse splits as righties hit him better than lefties by 207 points of OPS. He also has extreme home/road splits with a home WHIP of .944 at home versus 1.696 on the road.

While the Pirates come into D.C. with a 5-game winning streak, they brought in Nick Kingham yesterday and pushed Taillon back to today because they had a doubleheader on April 25th and needed a spot start. By the way, Kingham is remaining with their team and for now have 6 starters. The Pirates last loss was in a Taillon start in the first game of that April 25th doubleheader.

The Pirates five-game winning streak included two walk-offs, and 4-games in which they scored 5 or more runs. The Nationals have had their own offensive explosions in the last week with the 15 run barrage on the Giants. The Pirates are currently in 1st place in the NL Central and are primed for a cooldown on the road.

The Nats won’t see ex-teammate Enny Romero pitching as he was moved to the 10-day DL which kept the Pirates from DFA’ing him. The Nats could see ex-teammate Felipe Rivero who changed his name, and he is now known as Felipe Vazquez.

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch:  7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN; MLB App out-of-market
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app

Line-ups subject to change without notice:

  1. Trea Turner SS
  2. Ryan Zimmerman 1B
  3. Bryce Harper RF
  4. Howie Kendrick 2B
  5. Matt Adams LF
  6. Michael A. Taylor CF
  7. Matt Wieters C
  8. Wilmer Difo 3B
  9. Tanner Roark RHP
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