NEW YORK -- Before Wednesday's game, Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth found himself in a 26-for-124 (.210) slump. Manager Dusty Baker thought Werth would be better off moving up in the order, going from the sixth spot in the lineup to the second, where he could see more fastballs.The plan worked
NEW YORK -- Before Wednesday's game, Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth found himself in a 26-for-124 (.210) slump. Manager Dusty Baker thought Werth would be better off moving up in the order, going from the sixth spot in the lineup to the second, where he could see more fastballs.
The plan worked in Wednesday's 7-1 victory over the Mets. Werth went 2-for-2 with three runs scored and three walks. Werth now has 16 three-plus-walk games in his career, his first since Sept. 16, 2014. By hitting second, Werth believes he is more involved in the game.
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"It's funny how things work," Werth said. "I really didn't feel comfortable hitting sixth for whatever reason. I hit sixth before, but didn't feel I was in the flow of the game. But hitting second, it got my thinking switched up. I felt pretty comfortable the last couple of nights."
Why was Werth able to have a great game on Wednesday?
"Maybe it's Bryce [Harper] hitting behind me," Werth said. "… When the pitcher releases the ball, you try not to think. As far as that goes, I think pitch to pitch, regardless if you hit second or sixth or whatever, it shouldn't be that much different. I feel like I've been in the flow of the game again, and it's been a different feel, so it's been good."
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During the first 40 games of the season, Harper and Daniel Murphy have carried the Nationals offensively. Werth would like to see the entire team click offensively at the same time.
"I think we've had guys carry us. Bryce has carried us. Murph has carried us," Werth said. "… I don't think we've really hit our stride as a team. I think we're in good shape. As our lineup gets some flow to it and gets rolling, I think we'll be in good shape. All in all, I like where we're at."
Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.