Cincinnati Reds riding Tanner Roark’s hot streak into home stand

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 29: Tanner Roark #35 of the Cincinnati Reds delivers a pitch in the fourth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on April 29, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 29: Tanner Roark #35 of the Cincinnati Reds delivers a pitch in the fourth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on April 29, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Tanner Roark has been dealing in recent weeks, so much so that the Cincinnati Reds have decided to bump up his next start.

Tanner Roark has started 8 games so far this season and has a 3-1 record. He and Sonny Gray will flip-flop starts this week so that Roark maintains his normal five day schedule. The Cincinnati Reds are hoping the move will help Roark maintain the success he’s had in his past two starts. Perhaps the extra rest will do Sonny Gray so good as well.

Tanner Roark had a rough start to the 2019 season. The right-hander went just 4.1 innings against Milwaukee on April 1st, allowing 6 hits, walking 3 batters and allowing 3 earned runs. Roark’s next start was not much better, as the veteran went just 5 innings, allowed 7 hits and again, 3 earned runs.

Roark ended the month April having pitched in 28.2 innings with a 4.08 ERA. Opposing batters were hitting .289 off Roark and his strikeout to walk ratio was less than 2:1. During his start against the New York Mets on April 29th, Roark went just 3.1 innings, walked 4, allowed 4 hits, and was on the hook for 4 earned runs.

However, once the calendar turned to May, we’ve seen a whole new version of Tanner Roark. In his last two starts, Roark has pitched at least 6 innings, limited his free passes to a pair in both games, and hasn’t allowed a home run. Roark has a combined 1.42 ERA in those 2 games and opponents are only hitting .163 against him.

Tanner Roark was bumped up a day and will pitch on Tuesday during the upcoming series with the Chicago Cubs. Sonny Gray will get an extra day of rest and will draw the start on Wednesday evening against the Cubbies.

After his last two starts, Gray might need that added day of rest. Things haven’t been so sunny for Gray over the last 10 days. The Cincinnati Reds are 0-2 in Gray’s last 2 starts. He’s got a combined ERA of 5.79 in those contests and has more walks (8) than strikeouts (5).

Gray has a 4.15 ERA on the season, but was on his game earlier this season. There was a 4-game stretch that saw Gray pitch very well. Though he didn’t record even one win during those 4 games, Gray racked up 31 strikeouts to just 2 walks. Opponents were only hitting .169 and his ERA was just 3.27.

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Hopefully the Cincinnati Reds’ offense, that has a experienced a renaissance of late, will travel back home with the team to the Queen City. Cincinnati will have the day off tomorrow and being their 3-game series with the Cubs on Tuesday night.