|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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