Early in the season, first baseman Adam LaRoche led the way for the team at the plate. Before the All-Star break, LaRoche was hitting for a .279 batting average and stood out as one of the Nationals’ most reliable hitters. His post All-Star numbers are a different story altogether, though.
Since the break, LaRoche has just a .226 batting average and one of the lowest on-base-percentages of any hitter in the Nationals’ starting lineup.
While the team still sits atop the NL East and appears destined to make a run in the playoffs, a successful postseason will only be possible if hitters like LaRoche can get hot at the right time.
In his fourth season with the Nationals, LaRoche was on his way to having his best year with the team yet. His early-season numbers had him in conversations for an All-Star bid, but his play has slipped. LaRoche still has time to turn the season around down the stretch, however. The Nationals need him to do so as he plays a crucial role in the lineup, typically hitting in the No. 4 spot. The first baseman is supposed to be one of the team’s strongest hitters and LaRoche will need to prove that he can hit when it matters if the Nationals intend to make a playoff run.