Oct 3, 2012, 4:19 AM EDT
US Presswire photo
Adam LaRoche gets a curtain call after recording his 33rd homer and 100th RBI.
The NL East title clinched at last, Davey Johnson felt it was more important Tuesday night to rest most of his regulars than field his very best lineup against the Phillies in an attempt to lock up the league’s best record on the season’s penultimate day.
So it was that Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth, Michael Morse, Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa and Kurt Suzuki all watched the game from the dugout, their bodies and minds still recovering from the previous night’s raucous celebration at Nationals Park.
There was, however, one key veteran who found his way into his familiar spot in the heart of the Nationals lineup. Adam LaRoche, sitting on 99 RBI, wanted to take a crack at reaching the century mark for only the second time in his career.
“I was going to get one of these next two days a little breather,” he said. “We had a bunch of guys sitting today. I told them I’d go in there and try it out. I’m glad they talked me into it.”
As are the Nationals, who benefited from LaRoche’s leadoff homer in the sixth, the go-ahead blast that sent them on their way to a 4-2 victory over the Phillies and left them on a precipice of baseball’s best record heading into Game 162.
NL EAST STANDINGS
THE BASEBALL SHOW
ON THE RADIO
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Nationals again can't beat struggling Reds
- Span, Escobar exit game vs. Reds with apparent injuries
- Max Scherzer gets All-Star nod, two Nats left out
- Live Thread: Nationals open series vs. Reds
- More revealing Bryce Harper Body Issue photos released
- Bryce Harper makes decision on Home Run Derby
- Nationals sweep Giants behind Zimmermann, Ramos
- Two Giants ejected after arguing call vs. Nationals
- Live Thread: Nationals face Giants in Sunday night matchup
- Harper voted All-Star starter in record-breaking fashion