MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Spot starter Roark struggles with command

Nats get 3 1/3 innings from right-hander, who allows eight runs in Game 2

Spot starter Roark struggles with command

PHILADELPHIA -- Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark had no excuses as to why he had the worst start of his career in an 8-5 loss to the Phillies during the second game of a doubleheader.

Roark knew since Saturday that he was going to get the start. He said he had plenty of time to prepare for the Phillies, who collected 12 hits and scored all eight runs against Roark.

"He was up in the zone a little bit. The Phillies hit some balls that snuck through," manager Matt Williams said. "They did a nice job staying on the baseball, making contact and hitting it to the middle of the diamond."

The Phillies batted around in the second and fourth innings and scored four runs in each. Roark saw his ERA go from a respectable 3.25 to 4.34. He said the ball was coming out of his hand the way he wanted it to, but the Phillies found a way to get on base.

"That's the game of baseball," Roark said. "You can't win them all and you can't pitch lights out every single time. You just go out there, go about your business, do your job. Sometimes it goes that way.

"The body felt good. It still feels good now. It's just one of those days. ... They needed a guy to start and I was fit for the job. I felt fine out there, felt comfortable. One of those games where I had no control. You can throw whatever you want, but things get hit. It's not like I'll get extra for sympathy. It's baseball."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.