- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 2, 2014

Though Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams did not announce a potential Game 4 starter in his press conference Thursday, Tanner Roark said he will pitch out of the bullpen in the National League Division Series against the San Francisco Giants. That would leave Gio Gonzalez to presumably start Game 4, if needed.

“I kind of figured that’s what it would be,” Roark said. “It is what it is.”

Though both Gonzalez and Roark have had their fair share of recent success, Roark has been more impressive over the course of the season. The right-hander finished second on the team with 15 wins and finished with a 2.85 earned-run average over 31 starts.

Roark made seven appearances out of the bullpen last season after being called up from Triple-A Syracuse, in addition to five starts. His experience and willingness to adapt to a relief role, as well as Gonzalez’s left-handed presence in the rotation, might have contributed to Williams‘ decision.

Roark said he will have to adjust to the mentality of coming out of the bullpen, being prepared to enter a game at any time rather than pitching on a usual five-day starting schedule. But he was upbeat about the move and emphasized that his main focus is helping the Nationals win. He doesn’t prefer one role to the other.

“It doesn’t matter,” Roark said. “I like being out there on the mound. I like to pitch. I like to go out there and throw strikes. You can’t change anything. You’ve got to be the same person you’ve been. No need to change now.”



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