|Photo by USA Today
By Steve Roney
The Nationals' past week, at a glance:
Team slash: .305/.388/.470
Team ERA: 2.80
Runs per game: 6.0
Opponent runs per game: 3.0
Opponent slash: .244/.294/.339
Tanner Roark, RP: 2-0/0.00 ERA/0.67 WHIP/6 IP/1 K
Welcome to the big leagues, Mr. Ro-ark. The rookie reliever made his first three career appearances this week, picking up the win in the most recent two. He doesn't have overpowering stuff — he's thrown two-thirds of his 70 pitches for strikes, with only two swings and misses — but he's gotten the job done in fairly high-leverage situations. Working two innings in each of his appearances, he's been able to serve as a very effective bridge to Rafael Soriano, who has saved both his victories. Without more swinging strikes, his .190 BABIP will rise — along with his ERA — but Roark has had a dream start to his career.
Jayson Werth, OF: 10-19/2 HR/6 RBI/.591 OBP/1.486 OPS
Put simply, this is what we've been waiting for from Jayson Werth. Not the video game numbers of the past week, or even the past month — but his incredibly hot tear has brought his season numbers (.327/.399/.529, 17 HR) in line with his pay grade for the first time since he donned a Nats jersey. In fact, the 34-year-old is exceeding even those expectations: the batting average, if it holds up, is the highest of his career, though his .444 BABIP since the All-Star break portends a looming regression. The Nats are likely playing for bragging rights and to set the table for next season; if Werth can continue to swing a hot bat, both he and the team can end the year on a high note, which will bode well going forward.
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