Tanner Roark was unbeaten in five straight starts (5-0) between July 25th and August 16th, with a 1.77 ERA, five walks, 28 Ks, and a .214/.246/.282 line against in 35 2⁄3 innings pitched over that stretch, but he came into today’s series finale winless in his last five outings, with an (0-3) record, a 5.84 ERA, no walks, 17 Ks, and a .307/.307/.554 line against in 24 2⁄3 IP in those starts.
The last three before Sunday’s in Atlanta were particularly rough, with Roark giving up 26 hits and 15 runs in 15 2⁄3 IP.
Seven of the hits, and all five runs Roark allowed last time out came in his final inning on the mound in the fifth, when the wheels came off in Philadelphia.
“He was dynamite,” Davey Martinez told reporters after that game, a 7-6 win in which Roark received no decision, “and then all of a sudden it just got away from a little bit, and for me, I watch him and things started speeding up on him a little bit and that’s when I knew. I was going to give him an opportunity to try to get out of it, but he threw a lot of pitches in that one inning, so it was time to get him out.”
Roark tossed three scoreless to start Sunday afternoon’s outing before giving up a two-out walk and two-run home run in back-to-back at bats in the Braves’ fourth, with Tyler Flowers’ blast to left getting Atlanta on the board, down 5-2 at that point.
Back-to-back, one-out hits in the Braves’ fifth put runners on the corners and ended Roark’s outing.
Tanner Roark’s Line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 95 P, 54 S, 95 P, 54 S.
“He was good,” Martinez said after the win. “He attacked the strike zone, for the most part he stayed down, which was good, and his ball was sinking really good today.”
With his first win in a month, Roark has a (9-15) record in 31 games (30 starts) with a 4.34 ERA, a 4.26 FIP, 50 walks (2.50 BB/9), 146 Ks (7.29 K/9), and a .257/.317/.415 line against in 180 IP.
Braves’ skipper Brian Snitker told reporters after Atlanta dropped two of three in the series, that the overall numbers don’t accurately represent what Roark has been able to do on the mound.
“He pitches. He’s a competitor. He never gives in,” Snitker said.
“I look at his numbers and see a lot better pitcher than what the numbers show. I’ve admired him from afar, the player that he is and how he competes and what he does.”