WASHINGTON -- Once he saw manager Matt Williams and assistant athletic trainer Steve Gober go to the mound to check on Stephen Strasburg during Saturday's 9-3 victory over the Giants, Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark had a feeling he would enter the game.
Roark entered the game with two outs in the fourth inning. After warming up for about 10 minutes, Roark was solid, pitching 4 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits, striking out three batters and picking up his fourth victory of the season.
"He was able to extend again," manager Matt Williams said about Roark. "That's important on days like today, where you don't have to use the whole bullpen ... and Tanner provided that. He is versatile. He can do a lot of things. So today, it was long [relief], and he stepped up."
Roark has stepped up for the Nationals all season. There are days when he can be a late-inning or long reliever, and other days he could be back in the rotation. You will never hear Roark complain about his role. This is the same guy who was in the rotation last year and won 15 games. Roark said he will do anything to help the team.
"Whenever the team needs to call on me, I'm there to help out as much as I can," Roark said. "I pride myself on helping the team out and not giving in and not getting frustrated about what's happening."
Roark learned from his parents that it doesn't pay to complain. He's only going to hurt himself in the long run if he did that.
"There is no reason to complain, yell or do anything like that," Roark said. "You have to stay within yourself. Just be you."
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.