Thursday, August 8, 2013

Roark shines in MLB debut

Photo by USA Today
It's hard to pull silver linings out of what was a brutal loss for the Nationals on Wednesday night, their fourth straight and last of a sweep at the hand of the Atlanta Braves.

The Nats did see, however, Tanner Roark make his major league debut and throw two scoreless innings with just a hit allowed.

The 26-year-old from Wilmington, Illinois - a town of just over 5,000 people - entered the game in the fifth inning with the score tied at 2-2, replacing starter Jordan Zimmermann. And as he did, over 100 of his family and friends back home huddled around a projector screen they hooked up to a computer in a garage to watch Tanner realize his lifelong dream.

"I have a bunch of texts from all my buddies and family and friends back home watching on a big screen in a cul de sac where I live," he said after the game.

Roark had his fiancée, her parents, and her brother and wife in attendance at Nats Park on Wednesday and couldn't hide his excitement afterwards, despite the team losing the game. He was admittedly nervous on the mound and was still calming down hours after the experience.

"Nerves were high. First big league debut," he said. 

Roark tried to focus on the task at hand and forget the fact he was playing in front of 30,000 people for the first time.

"Just look at the glove and don’t look at everything else around because I’ve never played in front of that big of a crowd."

Roark capped the sixth inning with a diving catch towards the first base line on a Kris Medlen bunt. Roark tossed the ball to first to retire B.J. Upton and secure the double play. It was an athletic move that looked like just another day at the office for Roark, but he said it wasn't quite that easy.

"I’d like to see the replay of that because it didn’t feel as graceful as I’m sure it looked."

The Nationals eventually lost the game 6-3 and were swept by the Atlanta Braves. Roark would have preferred to come away with a win for his team, but he certainly did his part to help their cause.


"It was great. It’s exciting, very nerve-wracking," he said. "All in all, I’ll take it."

21 comments:

natsfan1a said...

It was indeed a bright spot. Fun to watch and nice that he had loved ones in the crowd.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

That's OK, Tanner, it didn't look all that graceful, either.

NatsLady said...

People, go ahead and hate me. I see the probabilities and the "what we would have to do to win 87 games." But still.

I think we have given up on the season too soon. Win six games, the next six. The team is healthy and has good pitching. The two teams we see next are well under .500 and trying out their minor-leaguers already.

So, we get to .500. Then what? Win 3 more games. A nine game winning streak isn't bizarre. Now you are 3 over .500. That is where Arizona is right now. You are 5 games back from the second WC and it's still late August. You have the whole month of September to make it.

NatsLady said...

Bring Danny and Drew back on August 31, so they have motivation for the playoffs. Work your butts off in September. Win the WC game. Then you are right back where everyone expected, in the divisional series. Beyond that....

It's a good team. I feel it in my heart. Davey may not feel it in his. Too bad. He has given up on RZim at 3rd base. I haven't. LaRoche is looking better. Werth is on fire. Bryce is getting healthier. Ramos, fine, Desi fine, Rendon adjusting. Span slumping but he will come out of it.

JD said...


NL,

From your computer to God's ears. I like you will continue to pull for our team until the bitter end but do I consider your scenario plausible? not so much.

SonnyG10 said...

Yep, ole Tanner looked pretty good last night, swan dive and all.

Section 222 said...

NL, I admire your optimism. I truly do. But we've been waiting for a nine game winning streak all year. Heck, we've been waiting for another five game winning streak since May 10. We might as well hope that they win every game from now until the end of the season because they have as good a chance of doing that as they have of reeling off nine in a row. And the team seems less ready to turn things around now than ever before. They just suffered a crushing sweep by the Braves in which they scored a total of 6 runs in three games, their rotation is in shambles, their lineup is a day to day adventure, and the manager seems to have given up. This is a .500 team, if we're lucky.

Kiterp said...

Kübler-Ross model a.k.a. five stages of grief

Denial: Just 9 straight wins and they are right back in the race

Anger: Fire Davey, Rizzo sucks, AlaR sucks, RZ sucks, Span sucks, bench sucks, blow up the team, the Nats are the biggest disappointment since New Coke

Bargaining: Trade AlaR, trade RZ, move RZ, bring up, move down

Depression: Quit reading Nats Insider and focus on football

Acceptance: Go to the park, have a beer, hope for some good baseball, enjoy the day, be excited about how young the Nats are, and wait for 2014 tickets to go on sale

m said...

Hey great if they go on a winning streak. i hope they do. But lets be realistic there will be no winning streak with the likes of ALR, Span, Zim , Suzuki and no bench. Bring up some players and play them. We are not going to win a WS with the current group. Time to try someone else

natsfan1a said...

What is this "football" you speak of?

Depression: Quit reading Nats Insider and focus on football

MikeinDC said...

I haven't quite given up on this team but the damn storyline needs to change. It's like "Groundhog Day" every game: Give up early score, starters keep it close, bullpen gives up runs, fight back late. LOSE."

But if Ramos continues to call for curve balls when hitters can't touch Krone's 95mph fastball, I will gladly turn the page to Fall. And football. Play smarter or it's not worth the effort.

The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. said...

How has Davey given up on Zimmerman at third base? I still see him out there night after night.

A DC Wonk said...

Kiterp -- that was a post of the day.

No.

Post of the week!

A DC Wonk said...

Huh -- Roark was part of a Cristian Guzman trade.

How about that?

ExposedinDC said...

Kiterp.....pure gold I tell ya...pure gold

ExposedinDC said...

NL....could never hate you and actually am a little jealous of your optimism but this team as assembled is a 500 ball club ( I hope ) some very nice pieces but not this year I'm afraid.

Candide said...

Loved this from Roark:

"Nerves were high. First big league debut," he said.

As opposed to the fourth or fifth big-league debut...?

Looked good out there, though - loved the hustle on that DP. Didn't pitch too badly either...

Candide said...

Kiterp said...

Acceptance: Go to the park, have a beer, hope for some good baseball, enjoy the day, be excited about how young the Nats are, and wait for 2014 tickets to go on sale.


That's where I am right now. Using the TV games to get over the learning curve on the 6-4-3 game scoring app on my new tablet.

Sec. 3, My Sofa said...

Always look on the bright side of life.

paul brandt said...

TyMo 2-3 with 3 RBI's today now hitting .312, good golly Rizzo what the heck are you waiting for? bring him up and put him at 1b and sit ALR...if Drake gets upset, am sure we can find a new bat boy.

do1teach1 said...

Cute story. Also most inconsequential story of 2013.

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