Apr 26, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Tanner Roark (57) celebrates with catcher Sandy Leon (41) after recording the final out against the San Diego Padres at Nationals Park. The Nationals won 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Tanner Roark pitches first CGSO for Nationals

The Washington Nationals boast one of the best rotations in Major League baseball. That was a fact even before they acquired Doug Fister.

Coming out of Spring Training, there was only going to be a battle for one position in the rotation, and it was going to either Tanner Roark or Taylor Jordan. When Doug Fister went down with a lat muscle strain late in Spring Training, both were told they were going to make the club. When Fister returns, who gets sent down could be a big debate and on Saturday, Tanner Roark made a very convincing case to stay.

It was a Saturday afternoon game against the San Diego Padres, whom the Nationals had routed the day before 11-1. The Padres had their ace, Andrew Cashner on the hill, and the Nats sent Roark. Roark had something magical going on Saturday.

Featuring a fastball that he located where he wanted when he wanted and a curveball that was sharp and spectacular, Tanner Roark looked perfect. He pitched pretty perfectly as well, retiring every Padre hitter that came to the plate through 5.1 innings before Chris Denorfia lined a single up the middle. That didn’t faze Roark as he would give up only two more hits on his was to his first career complete game shutout.

Roark was backed by a Nationals lineup that hit the ball hard off of Andrew Cashner, resulting in three first inning runs, and some spectacular defense, particularly by third baseman Anthony Rendon.

Tags: Washington Nationals

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