Rhys Hoskins hit a 92 mph full count heater to left-center for a two-run home run in the top of the first inning of Saturday afternoon’s matchup between the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies.
Tanner Roark held the Phillies off the board through five innings after the early home run, as the Nationals tried to figure out Phillies’ right-hander Vince Velasquez, who had a no-hitter through 4 1⁄3, but Wilmer Difo got the Nats on the board with a solo shot to right field in the bottom of the fifth, 2-1.
Carlos Santana tripled on a 1-2 curve with one out in the top of the sixth, however, and then scored on an RBI single to center by Maikel Franco, who connected for the second hit off of Roark’s slider this season, after he came into the game with opposing hitters 0 for 20 vs his slider, according to FanGraphs.com.
Roark came back out for the seventh at 104 pitches, but a one-out walk ended his outing.
Tanner Roark’s Line: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 9 Ks, 1 HR, 115 P, 70 S, 8/0 GO/FO.
Roark generated 18 swings and misses overall, seven with his curve, and he threw 70 of 115 pitches for strikes, 26 of his 37 two-seamers, nine of his 21 four-seam fastballs, 11 of the 17 changeups, 8 of 20 sliders, and 16 of 20 curves, according to BrooksBaseball.net.
“Roark gave a good chance to win the game,” Davey Martinez said after the game. [Wander] Suero came in and pitched really, really well, so I tip my hat to Valesquez really. He pitched well, and the bullpen came in and pitched well.”
Martinez was asked about his thought process in sending Roark back out for the seventh after he’d already thrown 104 pitches.
“I think trying to give our bullpen a little breather,” Martinez explained. “He looked strong, I mean he really did. First two hitters of the game [were] his nemesis today, after that he was really good, so we had a conversation, he said he felt good, and I let him go.”
“I go until they take me out of the game,” Roark told reporters. “So, I just dug deep and like I said, gave it the best I’ve got for the 115 pitches that I threw.”
He was fine going back out for the seventh inning, and would have been fine going deeper if asked, Roark said.
“Felt good. Still felt good when I came out of the game,” he said.
“Just the bullpen needed a little day today, after yesterday, so I just tried my best, did my best, and went out there and gave it all I’ve got.”
Roark was asked if the pitch to Hoskins was one of those pitches you want to take back, but he said it really wasn’t, he just challenged the hitter and lost.
“It’s the first inning, I’m not going to go walk a guy, just attack him, so he hit it out. If I had a hat on I’d tip my cap to him, so, but I don’t.” He made the gesture though.