Washington Nationals Win Again As Remarkable Roark Shuts Down San Diego Padres

Tanner Roark was the story of the game for the Washington Nationals as he spun another spectacular start against the San Diego Padres. The offense certainly did it’s part, too, jump started by Anthony Rendon in the first inning and on the way to a 6-0 victory.

The suddenly hot offense didn’t wait very long to get into the the game. Denard Span walked to start the game, and then Rendon hit one about 425 feet into the stands for his ninth home run of the season. Just like that, it was 2-0 Nats early.

The offense kept clicking, but Roark made himself the story of the game. He threw eight innings of shutout baseball and allowed just three hits. He didn’t walk anyone and struck out a career-high 11 batters. This line put him in some pretty elite company.

The sixth inning has been the Nats best inning so far this season as far as runs scored and OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage), and on Friday night, they just padded those stats. Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche, Wilson Ramos, Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, and Nate McLouth all reached base. Ramos drove in one on his ground rule double, Espinosa drove in a run on a brutal hit-by-pitch in the knee, and McLouth drove in two on a seeing-eye single through the right side of the infield, making it 6-0.

In the bottom of the seventh, Zimmerman showed some nice range on a ball near the line hit by Chase Headley. And really, just about anything that he catches at this point in left is a story, so here’s a Vine of him doing just that.

Some thoughts:

  • I cannot stress this enough: Roark has been incredibly good this season. He leads the Nats rotation with a 2.91 ERA, and if you like advanced numbers like me, he’s still way better than average with a 3.52 FIP. Roark has been the real deal this season, and you can officially color me impressed.
  • Friday was Rendon’s 24th birthday, and he left the game early after taking a hard grounder off his bare hand. That’s definitely worth paying attention to. The Nats really don’t want to do anything to break up this lineup.

(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

Joe Drugan

About Joe Drugan

Joe is the Managing Editor of The Nats Blog and host of the Nats Talk On The Go podcast. He's been blogging about the Nationals since 2010 and with The Nats Blog since 2011.