Hearing from McLouth, LaRoche, Zimmermann and Barrett after loss to Marlins

Left fielder Nate McLouth tied a career-high with four hits in the Nationals’ 8-5 loss to the Marlins in 10 innings.

“It was nice, because I have been grinding,” McLouth said. “It is really nice to come through for your team at the plate a little bit and certainly is a chance to exhale a little bit.

“Staying confident and positive. I don’t think you remain confident all the time, but at least staying positive when you are in the box and just knowing that sooner or later it will turn around. ... I try to be confident. You just have to just stick to your approach that you do everyday, your routine and things will turn around.”

McLouth said the team is not panicking despite six losses in their last seven games.

“I feel it is OK,” McLouth said. “We have had some tough games like tonight and those certainly aren’t easy, but there are some guys who have been on some teams that have maybe struggled at times, but have been able to put it back together. I think we have all the confidence we will be able to do that.”

Late in the game standing on third, McLouth was hit by a foul ball liner off the bat of Anthony Rendon. But he stayed in the game.

“It got my big toe actually,” McLouth said. “I think it got a little bit of the sole of my shoe too. I was a little sore but it is fine.”

First baseman Adam LaRoche went 2-for-5, but grounded back to first base to end the eighth inning. The frame started with the bases loaded and no one out.

“It happens,” LaRoche said. “You know if you are lucky it happens a lot and you got bases loaded all the time. Unfortunately, right now we don’t. And that’s not happening. When that spot comes up, it ends up being a much bigger deal than it should be. We are forced to have to push a run in there and it doesn’t happen. Ideally you got guys on base all the time.”

McLouth agreed. He thought they had a huge chance there to go ahead.

“With Rendon, (Jayson) Werth and LaRoche up those are the three guys I’d want up there every time,” McLouth said. “They put some really good at-bats up but just weren’t able to come through.”

Earlier in the inning, Denard Span singled on a bunt attempt that was thrown away by the pitcher. But the Marlins backed it up perfectly by Dietrich and McLouth was unable to score from third base.

“It was a great play,” McLouth said. “He was right in the perfect spot. Cause I rounded third there and was looking if there was any kind of a bounce away from him at all. But he was right there. That was a huge play in the game.”

LaRoche said the team has a day off to now focus on the Texas Rangers, and it is no time to feel sorry for themselves.

“This is just a test for us,” LaRoche said. “See where we are at mentally, see how bad we want to grind our way out of it and get back in this division. It could always be worse.

“They were some great at-bats. I feel like we all got pitches to hit and it just didn’t happen. We missed them. The last four or five games before I came back I am watching guys make web gems left and right on us and a lot of those in big spots with guys on base in tight ball games. It is a part of baseball. We can go home and pout about it or take a day off, come back out here ready to go to battle again.”

Zimmermann felt he had the stuff to get guys out, but the Marlins did a good job of finding base hits anyway.

“I thought I threw the ball pretty well except for the fourth inning where I made some good pitches,” Zimmermann said. “I threw a fastball up about neck high to (Garrett) Jones and he somehow hit the ball. I thought I made some good pitches that inning too. Luck is just not on my side right now. These guys are squaring the ball up pretty hard. I have to keep grinding and somehow make my way through this.”

Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann broke down the four-run fourth inning and what at-bats got away from him.

“My stuff is there,” Zimmermann said. “The fourth inning, Dietrich led off with a fastball down and away base hit. (Garrett) Jones got a hit on a high fastball that was a foot out of the zone.

“(Casey) McGehee was a high fastball. I went back and looked at the film and I made some pretty good pitches. (Marcell) Ozuna was a curveball away that he is usually pretty bad on curveballs and he hits a rocket back up the middle. So I am making good pitches where I want and they are just squaring up the ball right now.”

The Marlins scored four runs in the 10th as well to seal the game. Reliever Jerry Blevins struggled, allowing a base hit, a walk and an intentional walk to Giancarlo Stanton.

Reliever Aaron Barrett was disappointed he wasn’t able to stop the Marlins from getting three more hits on him in their game deciding four-run inning. He talked about the matchup with Reed Johnson that resulted in a two-run double.

“That is my best pitch and I wanted him to beat me with it,” Barrett said. “I went out there and competed and probably the last one was probably elevated too much and I paid for it. Just one of those nights I guess.”

Barrett said the team is not hanging their heads despite recent downslide.

“It is a long season,” Barrett said. “I think the hits are going to fall. We have had some tough breaks lately. We have a great team, good chemistry. Starting pitching and hits will start falling, no doubt about that. But if we just keep playing it is eventually we will get out of it. I think we will be fine.”

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