Minutes after releasing their 25-man playoff roster on Friday morning, the Nationals made official their starting pitchers for Games 2 and 3 for their NL Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Tanner Roark will get Game 2 on Saturday in Washington, while lefty Gio Gonzalez will start Game 3 in Los Angeles on Monday.
Roark, 30, will make his first ever playoff start. The right-hander went 16-10 with a 2.83 ERA in 34 appearances this seasin, 33 of them starts. He logged 210 innings and struck out 172 batters.
Roark faced the Dodgers once this season, on June 21. He went 7 1/3 innings with three runs allowed in a 3-2 Nationals loss.
Gonzalez, 31, will make his fourth career playoff start. He has a 3.21 ERA across 14 postseason innings with 12 walks and 11 strikeouts.
Gonzalez also pitched vs. the Dodgers once this season, back on July 20. The lefty went six innings with one run allowed on three hits and two walks. The Nats won their only game out of six against the Dodgers this season that day.
Roark will pitch opposite Dodgers left-hander Rich Hill. Gonzalez will go up against rookie right-hander Kenta Maeda.
Game 2 is slated to begin at 4:08 p.m. on Saturday. The first pitch time for Game 3 has not been announced. Game 1 begins at 5:38 p.m. on Friday with Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw set to square off.
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It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.
It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.
They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training.
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Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.
Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.
Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.
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We are fortunate enough to live in a world where we can watch a former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback (attempt to) hit against a three-time Cy Young pitcher in a Major League Baseball preseason game.
Max Scherzer took less than a minute to strike out Tim Tebow, who was batting cleanup for the Mets in a spring training game Friday. You can watch the whole at-bat here:
It looks like Tebow and Scherzer are starting to develop a pattern - last year’s matchup between the two went down the exact same way.
Tebow was able to redeem himself later in the game with his first hit of the year against Nats prospect Erick Fedde. He will likely begin the season with the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies, but Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he believes Tebow will eventually see some at-bats in the Majors.