Washington Nationals (55-44) vs. Cincinnati Reds (51-50)
RHP Tanner Roark (9-6, 2.91 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, .241 OAV) vs. RHP Alfredo Simon (12-4, 2.74 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, .220 OAV)
Friday, July 25, 2014: 7:10 p.m. at Great American Ball Park
In his short time in the big leagues, Roark has proven himself to be a top-level starter at the Major League level. His lack of a power fastball may not reflect it, but Roark has certainly proven he can get hitters out consistently.
Roark has gotten a decision out of his last 12 starts, with his last no-decision coming on May 10. He locked up with the Reds earlier this season on May 21 when he went six innings and allowed two runs (only one earned), but picked up the loss. On the year, Roark has made 19 starts—in only four of those has he allowed four runs or more.
The last two times he has taken to the mound have been mirror images of one another with seven inning, one-run performances that both resulted in wins.
Here is the lineup Roark will face via the Reds’ Twitter account:
CF – Billy Hamilton (0-for-3)
2B – Skip Schumaker (yet to face Roark)
3B – Todd Frazier (0-for-1, 2 BB’s)
LF – Ryan Ludwick (yet to face Roark)
RF – Jay Bruce (yet to face Roark)
C – Devin Mesoraco (0-for-3)
1B – Brayan Pena (1-for-3, 1 RBI)
SS – Zack Cozart (1-for-3, 1 2B)
P – Alfredo Simon (1-for-3, 1 2B)
If this pitching matchup sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Simon was opposite Roark on May 21 when the two met in the nation’s capital. While Roark would allow only one earned run and get the loss, Simon would pitch seven innings of one-run baseball and get the victory.
Last Saturday marked the first time the “Big Pasta” had picked up a loss since May 27. While it has been a historic run for Simon, Reds fans hope that the 6’6” righthander has not run out of gas.
While Simon has started only one game against the Nationals in his career, he has appeared in 11 total. His ERA against Washington is second lowest to the Chicago Cubs against teams in which he has appeared in at least 10 games.
Here is the lineup Simon will face via the Nationals’ Twitter account:
CF – Denard Span (2-for-7, 1 HR, 1 RBI)
3B – Anthony Rendon (1-for-1)
RF – Jayson Werth (2-for-6, 2 K’s)
1B – Adam LaRoche (1-for-4, 1 RBI)
SS – Ian Desmond (2-for-7)
LF – Bryce Harper (1-for-2, 1 HR, 2 RBI)
C – Wilson Ramos (1-for-7, 2 K’s)
2B – Zach Walters (yet to face Simon)
P – Tanner Roark (1-for-2)
Turning to Simon to stop their six-game skid, the Redlegs hope that their biggest surprise all season can be the man to stop the biggest surprise slide.