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Game XVIII: Twins at Nationals

Twins look to rebound after a disappointing opener in the capitol city.

Not pitching today; Sano owns him.
Not pitching today; Sano owns him.
Pool/Getty Images

Time: 12:05 (18:05 GMT). Vegas Line: WAS -130/+120 MIN

Weather: Chance Of Showers Early, Then Clearing And 73

Opponent SB Site: Federal Baseball

TV: FS-N. Radio: 2 Sad 4 Me & U

Nationals starter Tanner Roark seems like a pretty cool guy (even if his name sounds like something from a bad action movie.) He's been bounced back-and-forth from the rotation to the bullpen, usually because of too many pitchers under contract rather than bad performance. In that, he sorta reminds me of Trevor May. (If the NBA's all-time technical foul or "T" leader Rasheed Wallace named his kids the way Roger Clemens named his kids for "K"s, Trevor and Tanner would be good picks.)

Like May, Roark hasn't complained, saying all the right things to reporters. Some of that is no doubt playing nice; inexpensive players who complain get benched, traded or released. Still, he comes off as a mellow fellow, supporting his team and having started his career in independent ball. Hopefully the Twins will crush him anyway; no mercy in baseball. Roark mostly throws sinker/slider, with the occasional curve/change.

Phil Hughes has continued his low walk rate since it dropped to near-nothing in his first year with the Twins. But last season his strikeouts disappeared (7.98 K/9 in 2014, 5.45 in 2015.) So far in 2016 he's at 8.35, but even a return to his career average of 7.4 would be noiiiiiice. Lineups:

Ex-Senators Ex-Pos
Brian Dozier, 2B

Chris Heisey, CF

Eddie Rosario, LF Anthony Rendon, 3B
Joe Mauer, 1B Bryce Harper, RF
Miguel Sano, 3B (!!!!) Ryan Zimmerman, 1B
Osawldo Arcia, RF Stephen Drew, 2B
Eduardo Escobar, SS Jayson Werth, LF
Max Kepler, CF "Matt Capps" Ramos, C
Kurt Suzuki, C Danny Espinosa, SS
Phil Hughes, P Tanner Roark, P

Strange but true Roark trivia: He was a deadline trade from Texas to Washington for . . . Cristian Guzman. Guzman played 15 more games as a Ranger and never made it back into an MLB game afterwards.

(Since I'd mentioned odd names athletes give kids, it should be noted that Guzman's kids are named "Cristian Jr., Cris Anthony, and Crisangelie," per Wiki. Wiki also has this fun 2001 Guzman Twins ad.)