Tanner Roark takes the mound tonight with a streak of four straight wins going, over which the 29-year-old right-hander has a 1.65 ERA and a .212/.291/.333 line against in 27 ⅓ innings pitched.
One of the four starts was against the Atlanta Braves he faces tonight.
In seven innings on the mound last weekend, Roark held Washington’s NL East rivals to one run on five hits in what ended up a 9-1 win in Nationals Park.
“He didn’t strike out many, but he didn’t give up any,” Dusty Baker told reporters after the Nats’ win.
“Boy that was some performance, especially in the heat out there. He never complains about the heat, he doesn’t complain about anything, he just goes out and pitches and the team responded behind him.”
Baker said he continues to be impressed by Roark’s abilities. He was asked what about Roark he found most impressive?
“Sheer determination. He’s a winner. Also, he’s a good athlete. Guys kid him because he doesn’t look like he should be a good athlete because he’s so stout, he’s not fat at all, he is stout, and when you watch him field his position, that’s a great indicator of what kind of — I mean, he’s told us many times that he’s a quarterback and he used to be a shortstop and he looked like one today.”
Roark faces the Braves again tonight in Turner Field in the second game of the four-game, long-weekend set.
Roark’s lost just once in his last 10 games (9 GS), going (7-1) in those outings, one his only relief appearance of the season. He’s put up a 2.26 ERA and a .229/.291/.317 line over that stretch, with 17 walks and 45 Ks in 63 ⅔ IP.
In 14 games, 9 of them starts, vs the Braves so far in his four-year major league career, Roark is (5-1) with a 1.73 ERA, 19 walks, 41 Ks and a .217/.291/.294 line against in 67 ⅔ innings.
In Turner Field, Roark’s (1-1) with a 2.78 ERA and a .259/.323/.384 line against in 32 ⅓ IP in his career.
Here’s the lineup that will back Roark up vs the Braves tonight: