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Roark shines in MLB debut

Aug 8, 2013, 6:30 PM EDT

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.

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  1. natsfan1a - Aug 8, 2013 at 6:45 PM

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

  2. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Aug 8, 2013 at 6:50 PM

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

  3. NatsLady - Aug 8, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    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.

  4. NatsLady - Aug 8, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    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.

  5. JD - Aug 8, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    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.

  6. SonnyG10 - Aug 8, 2013 at 7:35 PM

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

  7. Section 222 - Aug 8, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    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.

  8. Kiterp - Aug 8, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    Kübler-Ross model a.k.a. five stages of griefDenial: Just 9 straight wins and they are right back in the raceAnger: 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 downDepression: 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

  9. m - Aug 8, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    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

  10. natsfan1a - Aug 8, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    What is this "football" you speak of?Depression: Quit reading Nats Insider and focus on football

  11. MikeinDC - Aug 8, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    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.

  12. The Real Feel Wood. Accept no substitutes. - Aug 8, 2013 at 8:28 PM

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

  13. A DC Wonk - Aug 8, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    Kiterp — that was a post of the day.No.Post of the week!

  14. A DC Wonk - Aug 8, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    Huh — Roark was part of a Cristian Guzman trade.How about that?

  15. ExposedinDC - Aug 8, 2013 at 9:25 PM

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

  16. ExposedinDC - Aug 8, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    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.

  17. Candide - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    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…

  18. Candide - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    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.

  19. paul brandt - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    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.

  20. do1teach1 - Aug 9, 2013 at 2:53 AM

    Cute story. Also most inconsequential story of 2013.

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