5. Roark vs the Orioles: In three starts since returning to the rotation, Tanner Roark has put up a 5.79 ERA and a .368/.422/.544 line against in 14 innings. Six of those nine runs he's allowed came in his last start before today's, when the 28-year-old right-hander gave up eight hits, two of them home runs in five innings of work in a 6-4 loss to the Miami Marlins.
Martin Prado and Justin Bour took the Washington Nationals' starter deep for a two-run home run in the first and then a three-run homer in the fifth, respectively, putting the Fish up 6-2 before the Nationals rallied and fell short.
Roark wasn't happy with the results, but said afterward that he felt good in his ninth start of the year in a season in which he's moved back and forth between the bullpen and rotation.
"You're supposed to limit the damage done and I didn't do my job today," Roark said.
"I mean, honestly that was the best I've felt, coming out throwing everything, all my pitches felt very good. Just a couple pitches here and there that I didn't execute and they hit them."
Nationals' manager Matt Williams was asked if he thought the back-and-forth between starting and relief work was behind Roark's struggles.
"He's certainly a starter by nature," Williams said, "and I think he's comfortable [going] multiple innings in a starting role like that."
"He threw some good curveballs, he threw some good changeups tonight, the pitch to Prado was just a slider that hung middle of the plate. So really a couple of pitches got him."
As a starter this season, Roark was (3-3) before today, with a 5.66 ERA, a 5.37 FIP, 10 walks (1.89 BB/9) and 25 Ks (4.72 K/9) in 47 ⅔ innings, over which opposing hitters have put up a .308/.354/.497 line.
His tenth start began with a leadoff double to center on a line drive off Gerardo Parra's bat and an RBI single up the middle by Manny Machado, 1-0. 24-pitch frame for Roark.
J.J. Hardy singled with two down, but a Tyler Wilson line drive to Michael Taylor in center ended a quick, nine-pitch second for Roark, 33 total after two.
Manny Machado walked with one down in the second, but was forced out at second for the final out of a 14-pitch frame. 47 total after three.
Matt Wieters lined a single to right in the first at bat of the fourth and scored on a two-run home run to center field by Jonathan Schoop. 3-0 Orioles. 20-pitch frame, 67 total after four.
A 15-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth left Roark at 82 pitches. Trea Turner hit for Roark in the bottom of the fifth.
• Tanner Roark's Line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 82 P, 49 S, 7/4 GO?FO.
4. Wilson in Washington: Baltimore Orioles' 2011 10th Round pick Tyler Wilson made his MLB debut on May 20th in OPACY and has been up and down several times since.
He's gone (5-5) overall in 17 starts at Triple-A in the O's system with a 3.24 ERA, a 3.26 FIP, 18 walks (1.72 BB/9) and 63 Ks (6.01 K/9) in 94 ⅓ IP.
In seven games and three starts so far for the Orioles, the right-hander has put up a 3.72 ERA, a 3.87 FIP, seven walks (2.17 BB/9) and eight Ks (2.48 K/9) in 29 innings pitched, over which he's held major league hitters to a .288/.333/.423 line.
Wilson's last start before today was a 4 ⅓-inning outing against the Tampa Bay Rays last week in which he gave up eight hits, two walks and six earned runs in an 8-6 loss on the road in Tropicana Field.
The righty threw 68 pitches, 40 of them for strikes, and after the game, Orioles' skipper Buck Showalter said he had issues locating his fastball.
"Tyler had some trouble with his command," Showalter told MASN's Gary Thorne. "I don't think he hit his spot that we were trying to get the ball but four or five times. Not many people have the pure stuff to be able to do that, but he's capable of pitching up here if he commands the baseball, which he normally does, and he'll be better next time out, but just a lot of mislocated fastballs."
Wilson's fourth start of the season began with a scoreless, 16-pitch first in which he worked around a one-out single by Yunel Escobar and a walk by Bryce Harper, getting an inning-ending 6-4-3 out of Jayson Werth to end the frame.
Michael Taylor singled to center with two down in the Nationals' half of the second, but he was stranded when Wilson handled a swinging bunt off Wilson Ramos' bat. 17-pitch frame, 33 total after two.
Tanner Roark reached on a grounder to the left side that Manny Machado couldn't scoop up cleanly that was ruled a leadoff single in the third, but he was stranded at first three outs later. 20-pitch third, 53 total for Wilson after three.
Clint Robinson walked with one down in the Nats' fourth, but was stranded two outs later. 16-pitch frame. 69 overall.
Wilson Ramos singled and took third on a pinch hit double by Trea Turner in the first two at bats of the fifth and a sac fly to center by Anthony Rendon scored Ramos for the Nats' first run. Yunel Escobar singled to left in the next at bat to bring Turner in, 3-2. 14-pitch fifth for WIlson, 83 total.
Wilson came back with a 15-pitch, 1-2-3 sixth after giving up two runs in the fifth. 98 total after six.
• Tyler Wilson's Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 98 P, 65 S, 8/2 GO/FO.
3. Random Game Notes: Orioles' infielder Manny Machado's home run off Max Scherzer last night was his 30th of the season, making him the second-youngest Oriole (23 years old) to hit 30 in one season, with only 22-year-old Boog Powell hitting 30 at a younger age. Powell ended the '64 season with 39.
• The O's win last night gave them a 3-2 edge in the season series with the Nationals with one more to play today.
• In today's Orioles-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment, Baltimore's bullpen leads the AL and ranks third in the majors with a 2.87 ERA... since April 29th. The O's pen has held opposing hitters to a .231 AVG over that stretch.
• Max Scherzer's strikeout of Orioles' second baseman Jonathan Schoop set a new Nationals' record (2005-present) for strikeouts in a season. He ended the night with 249 total, seven more than Stephen Strasburg's 242 in 2014.
Thursdays at the office: pic.twitter.com/Eztvty4xS7— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 24, 2015
• In today's Nationals-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment, Washington's offense ranks first in walks (158) and OBP (.364), third in run scored (197), runs per game (5.79) and AVG (.277), fourth in home runs (49) and fifth in SGL (.460) in the last 34 games, going back to August 18th.
• Bryce Harper started today's game three walks short of the franchise record (Montreal/D.C.) for walks in a season, currently held by Ken Singleton, who took 123 in 1973.
• Harper began the series final with the Orioles ranked 1st in the NL in AVG (.341), OBP (.472), SLG (.669), runs scored (116), home runs (41) and Wins Above Replacement (9.8 fWAR).
2. Turning Point(s): Two batters into this afternoon's game, Tanner Roark and the Nationals were down 1-0, after O's center fielder Gerardo Parra lined a double to center and scored on an RBI single by Manny Machado, who took a 3-2 fastball back up the middle for an RBI single and an early lead.
• Orioles' second baseman Jonathan Schoop snapped an 0 for 15 streak with a two-run home run to center on a 1-0 fastball from Roark in the fourth, sending one out to the sloped patch of grass behind the center field wall for a 3-0 lead after three and a half.
• Wilson Ramos singled and took third on a pinch hit double by Trea Turner and scored on a sac fly to center off of Anthony Rendon's bat. 3-1 O's. Turner then showed off his speed tool on a single to left by Yunel Escobar, scoring well ahead of a throw in by Steve Pearce to make it a one-run game in the nation's capital. 3-2 Orioles after five.
• [ed. note - "Find the exciting conclusion below..."]
1. The Wrap-Up: Joe Ross took over on the mound for the Nationals in the sixth, and threw a quick, 12-pitch, 1-2-3 frame.
Ross came back out for another inning of work in the seventh, but was lifted after a one-out walk to J.J. Hardy.
Matt Thornton came on to face pinch hitter Christian Walker, who took the second straight walk. Gerardo Parra sent a fly to center for the second out of the frame, but both runners advanced on an errant throw in by Michael Taylor.
The Nats walked Manny Machado to get the lefty on lefty matchup with Chris Davis. Thornton got up, 0-2, went to 2-2, and got a groundout to first to keep it a one-run game.
Chaz Roe took over for the O's in the bottom of the seventh and gave up a game-tying home run on a 2-0 fastball to Wilson Ramos that almost reached the concourse in left field. Solo blast. 3-3 game in D.C. No.14 for Ramos.
Matt den Dekker walked, and Anthony Rendon dropped a one-out single to center in off new pitcher, Mike Wright.
Yunel Escobar stepped in with two on and one out and double to center to bring den Dekker in, but Rendon got thrown out at home. 4-3 Nationals. Two down. Bryce Harper got an intentional walk from the O's.
Jayson Werth lined out to third to end the seventh.
Blake Treinen came on in the eighth and gave up a single to right by Steve Pearce and a two-run home run to center by Matt Wieters. 5-4 Orioles.
Clint Robinson doubled to center to start the eighth, but his pinch runner, Wilmer Difo, was thrown out at third when Ian Desmond tried to bunt him over. Michael Taylor walked to move Desmond into scoring position at second...
O's righty Brad Brach struck Wilson Ramos out for the second out of the frame, and Tyler Moore K'd swinging to end the inning.
Felipe Rivero threw a scoreless 10-pitch top of the ninth.
Darren O'Day came on for the save in the bottom of the ninth and retired the side in order. Ballgame. Sweep.
Nationals now 78-74