clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Nationals' starter Tanner Roark tosses eight scoreless vs Pirates: "He just gets you out."

New, comments

Washington Nationals' skipper Dusty Baker talked about Tanner Roark's solid outing against the Pittsburgh Pirates after Roark tossed eight scoreless and the Nats shut the Bucs out, 6-0, in the nation's capital.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Tanner Roark took the mound at 102 pitches in the top of the ninth with a 6-0 lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates, looking for the second complete game shutout of his career.

Two batters and eight pitches later, there were runners on first and second with no one out after a single and hit-by-pitch.

Dusty Baker walked to the mound at that point and pulled the plug on the 29-year-old Nationals' starter's outing.

So what did Washington's veteran skipper tell his pitcher before taking the ball?

"He had great command of his fastball. He threw some outstanding sliders. What can you say? He's given us everything we want." -Dusty Baker on Nats' starter Tanner Roark

"I just told him, 'Hey man, great job and see you later,'" Baker told reporters after the Nats' second straight win over the Pirates.

"I gave him an opportunity to complete the game," Baker said.

"The base hit [by John Jaso] was no big deal," he continued.

"When he hit [Starling] Marte it was time to go get him because he would have been knocking on 120 pitches unless he threw up a double play... and had some dangerous hitters coming up there."

Blake Treinen took over for Roark, and after giving up a base-loading single, he stranded all three runners to preserve the Nationals' shutout win.

"It was about preservation of Tanner for the long run and also Blake hadn't had any work," Baker explained.

"A lot of our bullpen guys hadn't had any work over the break, and you don't want them to rust out so we went to Treinen."

Roark allowed just five hits and one walk, inducing 10 ground ball outs from the 29 batters he faced before he was replaced on the mound.

"Oh, man, he was great," Baker said. "His two-seamer was coming back on the outside -- it looked like they didn't see it. He had great command of his fastball. He threw some outstanding sliders. What can you say?

"He's given us everything we want."

"He just gets you out. That's the secret to pitching: Get them out. Not necessarily strike them out, but you've got to get them out." -Dusty Baker on Tanner Roark vs the Pirates

Roark continued to do what he does when he's at his best, induce weak contact and ground ball outs and as Baker put it, just retire batters.

"He just gets you out. That's the secret to pitching: Get them out. Not necessarily strike them out, but you've got to get them out. You try to take the sting out of the bat.

"You throw inside, you throw outside, you mix in some offspeed pitches. And him and Wilson [Ramos] were working great together.

"It seemed like they were on the same page cause Tanner would get the ball -- he works quickly anyway -- but you could tell -- I don't know if he shook him off all night, but the rhythm that he had going and the fact that he was in the windup most of the night, very seldom was he in the stretch.

"And when you do that, that's the secret to success, plus he threw a couple double plays that were right on time to wipe out any kind of threat that they had coming."

With his ability to get weak contact, Baker was asked, could he see why it might be difficult to square up the ball against Roark?

"You better ask somebody else that," Baker sort-of joked. "Yeah, I can see it."

• We talked about Roark's outing vs the Pirates and more on the latest edition of Nats Nightly after the game: