Tanner Roark #57
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Tanner Roark not only pitched seven strong innings of five-hit, one-run ball against the Atlanta Braves, but also is quick like a rabbit off the mound to defend slow choppers that have any notion of becoming infield hits. Roark demonstrated gold glove-caliber fielding in the top of the fifth inning when he faced Braves third baseman Chase d’Arnaud with one out and the bases empty. After Roark delivered the 1-2 pitch, d’Arnaud hit a chopper between the mound and third base. Roark quickly redirected the pitch’s follow through momentum that took him toward first base as soon as he saw the chopper to the right side of the mound. Like a cheetah springing out to feast on prey from the brush, Roark was over the ball in the blink of an eye, grabbed it barehanded, and fired to first to nab d’Arnaud at first base with room to spare. That was an extraordinary fielding play.
FACT: The Nationals won the game 9-1, and Roark earned his 13 victory of the season, against six losses. Washington Nationals Stephen Strasburg had a monster night. He not only continued his dominance on the bump in 2016 with six solid innings of 3-hit, one-run ball, earning his 15th win of the season (against one loss) in a 14-1 drubbing of the Arizona Diamondbacks, but he also went 3-for-4 (three singles) with an RBI at the plate. The Nationals set season highs with 14 runs and 19 hits. Strasburg?s 15th victory already matches his career high (2012).
QUOTE: "He has consistently given us a chance to win every single start. And that is probably underselling what he has done for us this year," teammate Daniel Murphy said.