As Jayson Werth went, so seemed to go the Washington Nationals
when they lost two of three to the Philadelphia Phillies last
The ex-Phillie hopes to be better in his initial return to
Citizens Bank Park while trying to help the Nationals snap their
four-game skid in Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
Werth hit .282 with 95 homers and 300 RBIs while spending the
last four seasons with Philadelphia, reaching the 2009 All-Star
Game after helping the Phillies win the 2008 World Series. That
success enabled him to sign a hefty $126 million, seven-year
contract with Washington in December.
He called his first meetings with the Phillies from April 12-14
“business as usual.” Though he went 2 for 3 with a homer in a 7-4
win in the series opener, Werth was 1 for 8 with four strikeouts
while the Nationals (14-14) dropped the final two games.
Werth is batting just .233 with four homers and seven RBIs in 27
games with his new team. He was hitless in three of the Nationals’
last four games, but they took three of four against San Francisco
to conclude a 4-3 homestand.
Tom Gorzelanny threw eight solid innings in the Nationals’ 2-0
victory over the Giants on Monday.
However, trying to surpass the .500 mark for the first time
since April 20 could be a major challenge for Washington, which is
9-27 at Philadelphia since 2007. The Nationals have been outscored
27-9 during the four-game road skid against the Phillies.
Werth has never faced former teammate and scheduled starter Cole
Hamels (3-1, 3.13 ERA), who is 5-0 with a 3.04 ERA in eight starts
against the Nationals since last losing to them April 2, 2008.
Hamels has allowed five runs and struck out 31 over 29 innings
while going 3-0 his last four outings overall since he gave up six
runs in 2 2-3 innings in a loss to the Mets in his 2011 debut.
The left-hander yielded three runs and struck out eight in seven
innings of an 8-4 win at Arizona on Wednesday.
“You’re not necessarily going to have good games all of the
time,” Hamels told the Phillies’ official website. “Just knowing
that, you have to earn your end of the bargain and come away with
Philadelphia (18-9) has lost just three of its last 11 games,
but the latest came 2-1 in 14 innings to the Mets on Sunday. The
Phillies managed just seven hits in that contest.
“Try to forget about it and come back Tuesday,” said slugger
Ryan Howard, who drove in the lone run.
Batting .324 with 13 RBIs his last nine games, Howard was just 1
for 10 at Washington last month. However, he has a homer and eight
RBIs during an eight-game home hitting streak against the
Howard is 5 for 27 (.185) against scheduled Washington starter
Livan Hernandez, but three of those hits left the park. One of
those home runs came in last month’s loss the Nationals.
Hernandez (3-2, 3.23), who allowed three runs – two earned – in
eight innings of a 4-3 win over the Mets on Thursday, is 2-1 with a
2.25 ERA against Philadelphia since rejoining the Nationals in
“He just knows how to pitch,” Phillies center fielder Shane
Victorino said. “That’s why he’s been successful and why he’s been
doing it for so long.”
The lone run the right-hander gave up in 6 2-3 innings against
the Phillies last month came on the Howard homer.