Apr 11, 2011, 1:49 AM EDT
Associated Press photo
Catcher Wilson Ramos shakes hands with first baseman Ivan Rodriguez.
NEW YORK — Adam LaRoche had every reason to be down in the dumps. The Nationals first baseman had been forced out of today’s game in the 11th inning after aggravating a groin injury sliding into second base. This, on top of the shoulder tear LaRoche is attempting to play through.
Though he’s admittedly frustrated these nagging injuries turned him into a spectator at the end of the wildest game of the Nationals’ young season — a 7-3, extra-inning victory over the Mets that seemingly featured it all — LaRoche couldn’t help but smile about the manner in which his new team is going about its business.
“This group of guys has a chance to be something special,” he said. “You can see it in here when guys show up. You can see it after a loss when everybody’s patting each other on the back and pulling for each other the next day.”
And you could see it during this all-hands-on-deck win, one that required every player on the Nationals’ bench to contribute, pitcher Jordan Zimmermann to pinch-hit and drop a sacrifice bunt, future Hall-of-Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez to finish out the game at first base and No. 3 and No. 4 hitters Ryan Zimmerman and LaRoche to watch from the dugout due to injury.
“Shows a lot about this team and the direction we’re going in,” said right-hander Jason Marquis, who struck out nine batters over six superb innings to keep his team in the game.
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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