Washington at New York

New York
W: T. Roark (1-0) L: Z. Wheeler (0-1)
HR: WAS - R. Zimmerman (1)   NYM - None

Roark picks up Nats to help finish opening sweep of Mets

CBSSports.com wire reports

NEW YORK -- Toby and Jodi Roark were in the midst of a 12-hour drive from Wilmington, Ill., to Washington, D.C., to watch their son Tanner pitch in the Nationals' home opener. Then they got a call from their daughter-in-law, telling them he wouldn't be starting Friday.

In the clubhouse at Citi Field, Tanner's phone beeped.

"My mom is texting me, 'What's happening?' " Tanner remembered. "They were bummed out."

Jordan Zimmermann had a fever and was vomiting, so Roark started Thursday's series finale against the New York Mets on only three hours' notice. After a shaky first inning, Roark recovered and the Nationals rallied for an 8-2 victory and an opening three-game sweep.

"I just go with the flow," the 27-year-old right-hander said. "Whatever they tell me to do, it's what I'm here for."

Ryan Zimmerman tied his career high with four hits, including three that led off innings. His second-inning home run off Zack Wheeler (0-1) started the Nationals' comeback from a 2-0 deficit.

Washington's leadoff batter reached in the first seven innings, and the Nationals rallied to win for the third time in the series. While Washington opened 3-0 for the second straight season, the Mets fell to 0-3 for the first time since 2005. They had not lost their first three home games since 1997.

"They're proud of the way they've played so far and so am I," Nationals first-year manager Matt Williams said. "Just the way they're grinding."

Roark (1-0) made his major league debut on Aug. 7 last season and went 7-1 with a 1.51 ERA in five starts and nine relief appearances. He got just two swings and misses in the first four innings and fell behind 2-0 in a 30-pitch first but wound up allowing just the two runs and six hits in six innings with three walks and five strikeouts -- including his final four batters.

"That's what Tanner's done since basically we called him up last year," Zimmerman said. "When it's his turn to pitch, he goes out there and challenges the hitter. He throws a lot of strikes and works quick."

Roark allowed an RBI double in the first to Curtis Granderson, who had been 0 for 9 with the Mets, and Juan Lagares' sacrifice fly. Then he started making adjustments.

"I was letting the ball go and not trying to pinpoint and try to nibble as much," he said.

Wheeler gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings, trying to work out of trouble for much of the afternoon before a small crowd of 20,561, a couple hundred above Citi Field's record low.

Washington went ahead 3-2 in the fifth when Denard Span hit an RBI single to right, advanced as Granderson heaved a two-hop throw home and scored on Jayson Werth's two-out single. The Nationals broke open the game with a four-run seventh against relievers Scott Rice and Jeurys Familia that included a two-run single by Adam LaRoche off the glove of first baseman Lucas Duda.

"I assure you, we're better than what you've seen the last three days," Mets manager Terry Collins said.

Soon after that, thoughts turned to the home opener against Atlanta. Roark said his parents and in-laws still plan to be in the stands at Nationals Park on Friday and Saturday.

"They'll still get there, spend time together, so that's good," he said. "First time in D.C., so that will be fun."


Washington pitchers struck out 39 in the series, third-most in any team's opening three games since 1914, according to STATS. The only teams with more were Texas last year (43) and Cleveland in 1966 (42). ... Mets 2B Daniel Murphy returned from paternity leave and had a throwing error and a fielding error in his season debut. ... Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson presented the Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience to the New York Mets, Walgreens and Monsignor John Brown, then bounced the ceremonial first pitch. ... Werth was 6 for 13 in the series and Zimmerman 6 for 14.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
Ryan Zimmerman ties a career high with four hits, including a home run in the second inning.  (USATSI)
Ryan Zimmerman ties a career high with four hits, including a home run in the second inning. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
New York

C. Granderson
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

R. Zimmerman
AB 5
R 1
H 4
HR 1

Related Video

June 22, 2017
Wednesday's MLB winners and losers (0:41)
Washington Nationals
Denard Span, CF3121100 .417
Bryce Harper, LF5110025 .154
Jayson Werth, RF3111212 .462
Adam LaRoche, 1B4113113 .250
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B5142003 .429
Ian Desmond, SS5000012 .154
Danny Espinosa, 2B4020001 .400
   Ross Detwiler, P0000000 .000
   a-Kevin Frandsen, PH1000000 .000
   Rafael Soriano, P0000000 .000
Sandy Leon, C4100122 .000
Tanner Roark, P1000011 .000
   b-Scott Hairston, PH11100001.000
   Anthony Rendon, 2B1110000 .455
a-grounded out for Detwiler in the 9th
b-singled for Roark in the 7th
2B - Denard Span (3, Torres), Danny Espinosa 2 (2, Wheeler)
HR - Ryan Zimmerman (1, Wheeler)
SH - Denard Span (1), Tanner Roark (1)
RBI - Denard Span (3), Jayson Werth (1), Adam LaRoche 3 (6), Ryan Zimmerman 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Jayson Werth (1), Adam LaRoche (1)
Team LOB - 9
DP - Desmond-Espinosa-LaRoche
Washington Nationals
Tanner Roark (W,1-0) 6622350 3.00
Ross Detwiler 2000110 0.00
Rafael Soriano 1100020 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Tanner Roark 95-62, Ross Detwiler 25-15, Rafael Soriano 19-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tanner Roark 4-8, Rafael Soriano 1-0
Batters Faced - Tanner Roark 26, Ross Detwiler 7, Rafael Soriano 4
New York (N.L.) Mets
Eric Young Jr., LF5000015 .000
Daniel Murphy, 2B3110102 .333
David Wright, 3B4110002 .364
Curtis Granderson, RF4021000 .154
Lucas Duda, 1B3000111 .000
Juan Lagares, CF3011010 .455
Travis d'Arnaud, C3000122 .000
Ruben Tejada, SS4010022 .300
Zack Wheeler, P1000012 .000
   Scott Rice, P0000000 .000
   Jeurys Familia, P0000000 .000
   a-Josh Satin, PH0000100 .000
   Carlos Torres, P0000000 .000
   Gonzalez Germen, P0000000 .000
   b-Ike Davis, PH1010000 .333
a-walked for Familia in the 7th
b-singled for Germen in the 9th
2B - Curtis Granderson 2 (2, Roark), Juan Lagares (2, Roark)
SF - Juan Lagares (1)
SH - Zack Wheeler (1)
RBI - Curtis Granderson (1), Juan Lagares (2)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Murphy-Tejada-Duda, Murphy-Tejada-Duda-Tejada-Murphy-Duda
E - Daniel Murphy 2 (2, Misplayed grounder)
New York (N.L.) Mets
Zack Wheeler (L,0-1) 6733261 4.50
Scott Rice 0.1222000 54.00
Jeurys Familia 0.2221100 20.25
Carlos Torres 1211210 9.00
Gonzalez Germen 1000010 3.00
Pitches-Strikes - Zack Wheeler 114-72, Scott Rice 4-3, Jeurys Familia 16-8, Carlos Torres 31-20, Gonzalez Germen 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zack Wheeler 6-5, Scott Rice 1-0, Jeurys Familia 2-0, Carlos Torres 1-1, Gonzalez Germen 1-1
Batters Faced - Zack Wheeler 26, Scott Rice 3, Jeurys Familia 5, Carlos Torres 7, Gonzalez Germen 3
Game Information
Attendance - 20561
Game Time - 3:21
Temperature - 58
Umpires - Home - Tim Timmons, First Base - Todd Tichenor, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Clint Fagan