Jayson Werth’s adventurous night on the bases

May 23, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) runs from first to third base on a single by catcher Wilson Ramos (not pictured) against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the sixth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Jayson Werth has played all 49 games this season, and he’s in the lineup again for Game 50 even after Matt Williams said Wednesday he expected to give him a day off soon. Werth’s streak seemed to be endangered Saturday night in the third inning, when he crumpled to the ground running around third base and knelt on the bag for nearly a minute.

It was a weird play. Werth started on first base when Wilson Ramos blooped an RBI single to right field. Werth went first-to-third, running straight toward third base. In shallow right, the ball squirted past Josh Harrison, and third base coach Bobby Henley started to waive him around. Werth needed to make a sudden, tight turn at third base. But when second baseman Neil Walker gathered the loose ball, Henley shouted at Werth to get back to the base instead.

It looked as if maybe Werth had turned an ankle or a knee. But he was fine.

“A lot of things happened at once that I wasn’t expecting,” Werth said. “I just fell down. It was just bizarre.”

Werth was involved in another odd moment later in the game. Jared Hughes exploded Werth’s bat with an inside fastball. Werth twisted out of the batter’s box amidst a hail of splintered lumber, and the last thing he saw was the ball spinning foul. Somehow, the ball kicked back into fair territory. Hughes scooped the ball and tossed to first as Werth conceded, walking back to the dugout holding the knob of his bat.

Some equated the play to the one that got Bryce Harper benched. (I may have guilty, too, though this was intended to be tongue-in-cheek.) Um, no. Matt Williams didn’t bench Harper for an isolated offense. Harper had taken it easy down the line so often he had been specifically warned not to do it again. Werth plays hard, and he got caught in a weird situation – not unlike Nate McLouth, who on Friday night didn’t budge from the batter’s box on a grounder to first base he thought went foul.

Adam Kilgore covers national sports for the Washington Post. Previously he served as the Post's Washington Nationals beat writer from 2010 to 2014.

sports

nationals-journal

Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Comments
Show Comments
Next Story
Adam Kilgore · May 25, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.