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Werth believes Nationals grew in final month of 2013

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth arrived in camp Wednesday and said he likes his team's chances of going to the postseason this year. Werth believes there are a lot of positives the Nationals can take from last year.

For example, the Nationals ended the season on a positive note by going 18-9 during final month of the season.

"We learned how to win at the end of the year, which I don't think the team really knew how to do at the [end of 2012]," Werth said. "We came off a year where we won 98 games, but we were not pressed. Last year, we got to the point where we were pressed and we responded really well. We played awesome the few weeks of the season."

When Werth arrived in 2011, the Nationals were still trying to put together a solid team. They were coming off a fifth-place finish in the NL East. Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and Ian Desmond were not established, and Gio Gonzalez and Doug Fister were not on the team. Three years later, the team is now considered a playoff contender.

"I would say this is to be the year that everybody kind of graduates," Werth said. "Everybody has some time underneath their belt. Everybody in here knows where they are at. As you go on in this game and you start to figure yourself out -- the whole dynamic of what's going on -- you can settle in and be yourself."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats.
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