After the Nationals dropped the first game of this series in what looked like a favorable matchup with Patrick Corbin going against Tyler Mahle, the Nats have to take advantage of old friend Tanner Roark who was traded in the off-season to the Reds for Tanner Rainey. The Nationals send Erick Fedde to the mound, and he will get to face the Reds lineup that will have a couple more lefties in there.
On Thursday night, there were several players of both teams attending a Dierks Bentley concert in Cincinnati. According to the reports, Roark was invited to a suite where Nats players were and Roark declined the invitation.
“These are my teammates now,” Roark said after the concert. “It was funny to see them there and be in the same place at the same time.”
Sure, there has to be some hurt feelings by Roark when these two teams swapped “Tanners” in that off-season trade that sent him to the Reds and Tanner Rainey to the Nats. It is a very different Roark who is essentially pitching to his optimal analytics. He is generally pitching two times through the opposing team’s batting order (5.1 innings on average) and pulled before he breaks a sweat which won’t let him get too far into a pitch count above 98-pitches with few exceptions. While that formula has made Roark look better than last year, he is leaving much of the fate of his games to his bullpen to pitch nearly 4 innings per game.
Will manager Dave Martinez add even more lefties into his lineup today with Gerardo Parra? With Roark having his struggles with lefties, the only spot would be Parra in centerfield for Victor Robles with Matt Adams at first base. It would be nice if the Nationals had another tough lefty batter for, say, second base for instance.
Washington Nationals vs. Cincinnati Reds
Stadium: Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati, Ohio
1st Pitch: 4:10 pm EDT
TV: MASN2; FOX Sports Ohio, MLB App out-of-market
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app
Line-ups subject to change without notice: