The Nats poor stretch continues. The real problem has been the starting pitching. Outside of Joe Ross in his second MLB start and the best start of Max Scherzer's career the Nats starting pitching has struggled over the last couple weeks. Far too often the Nats have needed to call on the bullpen early and often. Last night was a little weird. Bob and FP said it's because the Nats don't have an off day for awhile but the bullpen pitched one inning in the last two games. Everyone could've been used last night and the next day as well, but this is what happens when the team is struggling.
With poor performance comes the expectation for the continuation of poor performance. So when Gio Gonzalez exited after less than five innings and the bullpen was needed for long duty all of a sudden came the expectation that they would be needed for the same the next day with Tanner Roark on the mound. Managing is a lot like being a point guard in the NBA. It won't work if you don't trust the guys around you and right now Matt Williams is a little weary of everyone. His bullpen, line-up, and starting staff have all let him down at times and we've seen him not go to the bullpen out of fear of what they'd do and now we see him not use the bullpen because he's afraid of what Tanner Roark's going to do.
With how the season has gone it's hard to blame Matt Williams. All a manager can do is put a player in a position to succeed. The player still has to execute and do what's expected of him, and the expectation for some Nats pitchers and players is becoming that they're going to blow it. Tanner Roark has simply been bad since moving back into the rotation and the sooner Fister and Strasburg are back the better. At least with Strasburg there's the possibility that he can find his release point and be lights out. Tanner Roark was a nice story but it looks like midnight has struck and Tanner Roark is stuck looking for his glass slipper.