Washington dropped two of three in Milwaukee late last month, but Tanner Roark, who is on the mound against the Brewers tonight in Nationals Park, led the Nats to a 7-3 win in the last game in Miller Park.
Roark tossed eight scoreless, striking out 11 of the 28 batters he faced, and he snapped a seven-start winless streak in that outing.
“He was awesome. He really was,” manager Davey Martinez told reporters after the win.
“He attacked the zone, he was working quick, threw strikes, got quick outs, so he was really good.”
“If he can do this every start we’ll be in great shape,” Martinez continued. “But we know he can do that. That’s the Tanner that we know, so we’ll just keep building from there.”
After Roark’s impressive outing, Martinez repeated something he’s said often in his first year on the bench in the majors when asked about what he needs from his starters.
“We say it every day, if they can go six or seven innings, we can do some things, and with our lineup, just keep us in the ballgame. Our lineup can be explosive just like that, and as long as we stay close in the ballgames we’re in good shape.”
Martinez said much the same after Gio Gonzalez struggled again in the finale with Philadelphia’s Phillies earlier this week.
Gonzalez gave up six hits and six earned runs in five innings on the mound in what would end up an 8-6 loss.
“I’ve said it before. If we get good starting pitching we have a chance to win ballgames. We were ahead and we just couldn’t keep the lead.”
The Nationals took 2 of 4 from the Phillies and wrapped up their six-game road trip to New York and Philadelphia 3-3 with a 34-36 record on the road this season.
Tonight, they start a 10-game homestand in Nationals Park, where they’re 33-31 in 2018.
“We’re swinging the bats really well,” Martinez said after the third of three in Citizens Bank.
“We’ve got a day off tomorrow, well-deserved day off, so come back Friday and let’s go after it again.”