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“I was looking to pull something,” said Werth, who knew he’d be the only right-hander to face Scott Rice in a four-batter stretch and said he felt “convicted” in his aggressiveness to try and win the game. “I even moved up on the plate and I figured, given the situation, that he’d thrown seven straight balls, I felt like he was going to groove one and I felt like I could do damage.

“In that situation, you’ve got to let the game come to you, and I tried to go get the game. That was it.”

As they packed up in the visitors’ clubhouse at Citi Field, some lamenting missed opportunities from the week that had passed, they evaluated their team, knowing that six games at home against the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds awaited.

In most cases, they found themselves defending the talent in the room against what the results have shown to this point.

They are better, they said. They will be better.

“It’s totally fine,” outfielder Bryce Harper said. “It’s a long season and we’ve got a good team. I’m not frustrated, I’m not upset. It happens. We’re going to get going.”

“It’s early, [but] it’s not like we’re in the first series of the year,” LaRoche said. “When you look at 162 of ‘em, and this much talent, it just won’t last. We’ll go out there and have some really hot stretches where we just won’t be able to help it. The caliber of players we’ve got, it won’t last.”