Tanner Roark gets his first start of the season a day early after Jordan Zimmermann was scratched with flu-like symptoms. Roark faced the Mets twice last season — once as a reliever and once as a starter — and allowed three runs on nine hits in 9 1/3 innings; a 2.89 ERA.
Despite starting the season 4 for 10 with five RBI, Anthony Rendon will be on the bench. Danny Espinosa will instead start at second base and hit seventh in the lineup. Williams refused to proclaim Rendon the starting second baseman when the Nationals broke camp, but he started Rendon the first two games. But because Williams believes Rendon and Espinosa played well in spring training, he wants to get both of them opportunities.
A day game after a night game provided that chance.
“They both earned the right to play,” he said. “We want to try to make sure that we get both of them opportunities. Anthony’s played really well. Danny’s played really well. He had a great at-bat the other day. We want to make sure that our bench guys have adequate at-bats as well during the course of the season, so they’re fresh and their timing is good. That’s all it is. We feel very confident in Danny and his ability.”
The lineups are here. As always, discuss the game below.