The Washington Nationals were 5-8 from May 10th through last night without Adam LaRoche in the lineup.
A right quad strain led to LaRoche's DL stint after he'd played with the injury for several weeks.
Eventually, however, the decision was made to place the 34-year-old first baseman and middle-of-the-order bat on the Disabled List.
"Before it gets too bad -- don't want to do it," Nats' skipper Matt Williams told reporters, "but for the long-term health of Adam and our team, it's probably important to do that right now and make sure we can calm it as much as possible."
The #Nats today optioned INF Zach Walters to Syracuse and recalled from rehab and reinstated 1B Adam LaRoche from the 15-Day Disabled List.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) May 25, 2014
In the first 32 games and 133 plate appearances before he went on the 15-Day DL, LaRoche put up a .319/.421/.504 line with six doubles and five home runs in his fourth season with the Nationals.
LaRoche's return from the DL was officially announced this morning.
He returns in time to face Pittsburgh Pirates' starter Francisco Liriano, against whom he's 1 for 6 with a double in their respective careers.
Against left-handers this season, LaRoche is actually off to a strong start with a .296/.406/.370 line through 15 games and 32 plate appearances.
In his career, LaRoche had a .245/.302/.428 line before last season when he put up a .198/.254/.313 line vs LHPs as one of several Nats' left-handers who struggled to hit southpaws.
As a team, the Nationals have a .284/.341/.427 line against left-handed pitchers so far in 2014, good for 3rd in AVG, fourth in OBP and fourth in SLG in the National League.
Can they beat Liriano and the Pirates this afternoon and avoid a sweep in PNC Park?
• Here's the Nationals and Pirates' lineups for the finale of the four-game set in Pittsburgh:
|WASHINGTON NATIONALS||PITTSBURGH PIRATES|
|Denard Span - CF||Josh Harrison - RF|
|Anthony Rendon - 3B||Neil Walker - 2B|
|Jayson Werth - RF||A. McCutchen - CF|
|Adam LaRoche - 1B||Ike Davis - 1B|
|Ian Desmond - SS||Starling Marte - LF|
|Tyler Moore - LF||Pedro Alvarez - 3B|
|Kevin Frandsen - 2B||Jordy Mercer - SS|
|Jose Lobaton - C||Chris Stewart - C|
|Doug Fister - LHP||F. Liriano - LHP|