Roark with the Washington Nationals
|Washington Nationals – No. 57|
October 5, 1986 |
|August 7, 2013, for the Washington Nationals|
(through September 21, 2017)
|Earned run average||3.34|
Tanner B. Roark (// roh-ARK; born October 5, 1986) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball. He played college baseball at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 2006–2007.
Roark played one season with the Southern Illinois Miners of the independent Frontier League in 2008. In 3 games, he was 0–2 with a 21.41 ERA. In just 9.2 innings, he gave up 23 hits along with 25 runs while striking out 11.
In 2011, he was promoted to Triple-A Syracuse, and posted, in 28 games (26 starts) an unremarkable 6–17 record, but he posted a 4.39 ERA with 7.9 strikeouts and 2.9 walks per nine innings. He began the 2012 season in Syracuse as a starter, then joined the bullpen for 20 relief appearances. Roark moved back to the rotation and had the best stretch of his career, allowing only 12 earned runs over 48 2⁄3 innings in eight starts.
On August 6, 2013, Roark was called up to the majors for the first time, and on the next day pitched two innings of scoreless relief, allowing only one hit. By the end of August he had appeared in nine games in relief, allowing earned runs only twice, and compiling an ERA of 1.19 over 22 2⁄3 innings. On September 7 Roark made his first major league start against the Miami Marlins, pitching six innings, allowing no runs and four hits, no walks, and four strikeouts, getting the win. Roark's dominance continued with a September 17 start against the rival Atlanta Braves in which he pitched seven innings and allowed no runs on just three baserunners. His ERA dropped to 1.08 in 41 2⁄3 innings. On April 26, 2014, Roark threw his first career complete game shutout (with a perfect game until the 6th), allowing only 3 hits in a 4–0 win over the San Diego Padres.
2017 World Baseball Classic
Roark pitched in relief versus the Dominican Republic, throwing 41 pitches over 1 1⁄3 innings, allowing two earned runs.
Roark started vs Team Japan in the 2017 WBC semifinals. Roark, who described it as the biggest start of his career, threw 48 pitches over four complete innings, allowing no runs. Under an agreement between Team USA and the Nationals, Roark was limited to no more than 50 pitches. Team USA defeated Japan 2-1 for their first win in WBC semifinal history. Team USA manager Jim Leyland praised Roark's performance post-game saying, "The key tonight, without question, was Tanner Roark. There is no question about that." 
Roark's main pitch is a sinker at 92 mph (topping out at 96). Against right-handed hitters, he also features a slider at 85 mph. Against lefties he mixes in a curveball at 77 mph and a changeup at 82 mph. He also has a little-used four-seam fastball at 92 mph.
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- James, Chelsea (March 22, 2017). ""Tanner Roark throws four scoreless innings for Team USA in WBC Semifinal Win,"". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
- "Player Card: Tanner Roark". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved 19 March 2017.