Tanner Roark allowed 2 home runs in his last start. In the Phillies’ hitter-friendly ballpark, the Cincinnati Reds starter will need to keep the ball down and avoid giving up the home run.
Tanner Roark did not look like himself during his last outing against the Washington Nationals. The Cincinnati Reds‘ right-hander had been one of the most dependable starters in the rotation since the beginning of the season. After another close loss last night, Cincinnati is in need of a bounce-back performance from Roark.
Tanner Roark had been dealing since the Reds’ 5-4 win against the New York Mets back on April 29th. During 5 starts in the month of May, Roark pitched in 5 games spanning 27.2 innings. He struck out 32 batters and walked only 9 while not allowing a single home run. His ERA last month was a staggering 2.28.
Roark’s last outing against the Washington Nationals didn’t go too well. Though he went 6 innings, struck out 6 and only walked 1 batter, Roark allowed 2 home runs. He hadn’t surrendered a long ball since April 24th in a 3-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves.
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Last Saturday, the Nats teed-off on Roark with a home run to deep right field off the bat of Gerardo Parra in the second inning. Matt Adams sent one over the head of Yasiel Puig and into the seats in the top of the sixth inning, giving the Nationals a 4-1 lead. Washington would go on to win the game 5-2.
While every player is allowed an off-game, with the Cincinnati Reds sitting precariously close to being out of the postseason hunt with a record of 28-34, Roark needs to lead the team into Philadelphia this afternoon with the same confidence he had during the month of May. That will be no easy task.
The former Washington National has seen his fair share of Citizen’s Bank Park over the years and the results have not been good. Roark is 3-6 while pitching in Philadelphia with a 5.30 ERA. However, in 11 games, the long ball hasn’t been his nemesis. Roark has only allowed 4 homers in 56-plus innings of work while pitching in Philly.
In two starts against the Phillies at home last season, Roark went 0-1 with 5.06 ERA. Again, home runs were not the issue for Roark, as he didn’t allow a single big fly in 10.2 innings. But his command wasn’t there, walking 3 batters and only striking out 7. Only his 4 inning performance in the Rogers Centre in Toronto went worse than his time on the road in Philadelphia.
With the bats struggling, it’ll be up to Tanner Roark to keep the Cincinnati Reds close in today’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Though 6 games under .500, the Reds are only 5 games out of the Wild Card and just 2 games back of Pittsburgh in the NL Central. The Reds have to put together a winning-streak and Roark needs to set the tone this afternoon.