Tanner Roark made a strong case for the fifth and final spot in the Nationals rotation yesterday afternoon. He threw five and two-thirds innings and struck out five while allowing just one run, on two hits and a walk. Roark was feeling so strong that even after 73 pitches in the game he went and threw a bullpen session. Taylor Jordan is scheduled to pitch on Monday, and he will need a strong performance to match Roark.
Off of the mound the Nats struggled to get their bats going. In the top of the first inning, Bryce Harper singled and then stole second. Interestingly, the play, which was originally called an out, was reviewed and overturned using the new replay system. After a Jayson Werth fly out to center, Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia threw a wild pitch advancing Bryce to third. From there Ryan Zimmermansingled him home for the Nats first and only run of the ball game. The Nats only managed five hits in the game and struck out seven times.
Even with their lack of success in the batters box, the Nats managed to hang around in the game. With the score 1-1 Drew Storen entered the game and immediately ran into trouble. After walking David Wright to start the inning, Storen gave up a bomb to Curtis Granderson. The homer made the score 3-1 and put the game out of reach.
- Drew Storen was hit hard again today. Storen has had a tough spring to follow up on his tough 2013 campaign. It looks like he will still make the opening day roster, but if he is hit like he was today I will not be surprised if he spends some time at AAA-Syracuse.
- Matt Williams won his first challenge as the manager of the Nationals. Though this is a good trial for the upcoming season there are some issues with the system. Personally, I’m already annoyed with the extra time it adds to games. Baseball is an imperfect-human game and that is what makes it beautiful. I am all in favor of getting the call correct, but the new rules make it feel artificial in some way. That being said, it is here to stay so I guess I will have to get used to it.
- John Lannan pitched a scoreless inning for the Mets. It is always weird to see him in another uniform.