The numbers are not pretty. Adam LaRoche knows that. He knows that his .202 batting average and .314 on-base percentage is not what the Washington Nationals expected when they signed him to be their first baseman this offseason.
Jordan Zimmermann did something in the second inning Friday night that no other pitcher in the major leagues had done this season and yet, in the Nationals much-needed 3-2 victory over the Marlins in 10 innings, he was still upstaged by one of his relievers.
The frustration that comes with offensive futility began to bubble out of the Washington Nationals in their 7-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night when cleanup hitter Adam LaRoche – usually mild-mannered and even-tempered – gave home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez a piece of his mind in the fourth inning.
When you're young, gifted and blocked, progress is measured in baby steps, often escaping notice. There are signposts that a historian will laugh at in retrospect, moments that eventually mean nothing in the arc of a career.
More often than not this season, the Nationals have had to manufacture their runs. They haven't come easy and, when they've come at all, they've usually been the product of aggressive base running or sacrifices or timely base hits.
Jayson Werth dropped his bat, tore off his batting gloves and tossed his helmet aside as the St. Louis Cardinals made their way off the field following a 1-2-3 first inning on Thursday that ended when Werth looked at three straight strikes from Kyle Lohse.
If the Nationals' doubleheader sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday was the coming out party for their offense — a facet of their game that had been dormant for much of the first 15 games — then their victory in the first game of a doubleheader with the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday was more proof that their formula for winning likely won't include the longball.
The edge of the strike zone was home to Jason Marquis for the first 11 seasons of his major league career. The right-hander wanted each of the 22,627 pitches he threw to be perfect.
Four times Jayson Werth had come to the plate Friday night, and four times the Nationals right fielder was sent back to the dugout empty handed.