Associated Press photo
Catcher Wilson Ramos shakes hands with first baseman Ivan Rodriguez.
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.