PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — It’s going to be a warm Sunday afternoon at Tradition Field, where the temperatures are supposed to climb into the upper 80s. So it’s only fitting that the battle for the final spot in the Nationals’ rotation begins to heat up today, with Tanner Roark getting perhaps his last chance to make a case to win the job.
Roark gets the start against nearly the entire Mets regular lineup, a good test for the young right-hander. Taylor Jordan starts tomorrow against the Marlins, so Roark would certainly like to put forth a strong outing today and perhaps put some pressure on Jordan before he takes the mound tomorrow.
Most of the Nationals’ regulars are here as well, with a little different look to the lineup today. Bryce Harper hits second, with Ian Desmond down in the 6-spot where he’s had so much success the last two seasons. They’ll be facing right-hander Jenrry Mejia first, then old pal John Lannan, who is battling for a spot on the Mets’ roster, either as their No. 5 starter or out of the bullpen.