Bill Ladson

ASG candidate LaRoche was ready to pitch in 16th

ASG candidate LaRoche was ready to pitch in 16th

MILWAUKEE -- The Nationals defeated the Brewers, 4-2, in a 16-inning marathon Tuesday night at Miller Park. Ryan Zimmerman hit the game-winning home run in the top of the 16th inning.

Had the game remained tied going into the bottom of the 16th, Nationals manager Matt Williams announced that first baseman Adam LaRoche would have made his Major League debut as a pitcher. The last time LaRoche pitched in a professional game was in 2003, when he was with Double-A Greenville, a Braves affiliate.

"After his at-bat, I told him to go in the cage and throw a little bit. It turned out, we scored." Williams said.

Zimmerman said he would not have liked to see LaRoche in the game.

"I'm sure Roche is probably mad at me for hitting the home run. I guess I have to see it another time," Zimmerman joked.

Reliever Tyler Clippard said it would have been fun to watch LaRoche on the mound.

"That's not the ideal situation, but at the end of the day, we heard a lot about Roche's ability to pitch from Roche," Clippard said. "So if he were to get in there, we would have been all eyes on hand and hopefully he would have done well. I'm glad it didn't get to that point."

LaRoche may not have pitched in Tuesday's game, but he does deserve to play in his first All-Star Game. Why? He is arguably the Nationals' best hitter, leading the team in batting average (.311) and on-base percentage (.424) entering Wednesday's game. And let's not forget to mention that he is one of the best defensive first basemen in the game.

"He has made a great case [to be on the All-Star team]," Williams said. "Any time you miss time [because of an injury], it's difficult. … He has played really well."

Fans can cast their votes for starters at -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.