Even though there’s a combined 2,200 words written on the Nationals at the trade deadline and a the 3-0 win over the Mets earned with it as backdrop, a coule things slipped through the cracks. Here’s a recap:
Jayson Werth liked his bobblehead. “Being that it’s my first bobblehead of my career, I enjoyed it,” he said. “It was a fun experience. Hopefully we can do it again sometime.”
It helped that he went 2 for 3 with a three-run homer and an intentional walk. Werth finished the night with his OPS back to over .700, at .705, for the first time since July 5. Werth is 11 for 32 with seven walks and five extra-base hits in his last nine games, which might be a start of coming out of his funk. “I’m tired of saying I’m close,” Werth said. “I’m working in that direction. I know why, I guess. It’s just a matter of having the right swing during the game.”
Chien-Ming Wang is feeling healthy. The day after he threw 60 pitches in his first major league start in more than two years, Wang reported no issues. “He said he’s fine,” Manager Davey Johnson said. “He’s still building up arm strength. With a lot of his breaking balls, he’s showing that his arm strength is not totally there yet. That’s the one pitch, everything really has to be on with that pitch.”
Brian Bixler could play center field. If the Nationals don’t pull off a trade for Denard Span or, less likely, B.J. Upton or Michael Bourn, Johnson said he’d feel comfortable with Bixler in center for the remainder of this season if he wants to sit Rick Ankiel against a lefty starter. “He can fly,” Johnson said. “He’s got good instincts. He’s a middle-of-the-diamond player.”
Jason Marquis bounced back. If the Nationals had tried to trade Marquis this offseason, after he went 2-9 with a 6.61 ERA, they would have been laughed at. But Marquis worked to recover from the surgery he had last year to remove bone chips from elbow, and he went 9-5 with a 3.95 ERA, good enough for the Diamondbacks to send the Nats a prospect — infielder Zachary Walters — and pick up the rest of his salary.
“It’s a tribute to Jason Marquis,” Rizzo said. “He’s one of the hardest-working guys I know. He worked really, extremely hard to get back to the Jason Marquis of old. It’s really rewarding for us to be able to trade him and to get some value back for him. He’s worked so hard to get where he is.”
Jordan Zimmermann is starting Sunday. After that, the Nationals’ rotation is up in the air. But it could soon feature Brad Peacock and/or Tom Milone. “Nothing is cut in stone right now,” Johnson said. Since Tom Gorzelanny pitched two innings in relief Friday, Livan Hernandez seems like the choice for Monday against the Braves – he would be pitching on normal rest.