Werth went 3-for-5 with two doubles and the Nats’ only offense, a two-run homer, that erased an early deficit and got the team eventually to extra innings, before Houston won it, 3-2 in 11.
Manager Davey Johnson said he believes Werth’s aggressiveness has helped him start to get out of his recent struggles and it paid dividends in the rubber match at Houston.
“As I have said for about a week, I have seen really good signs,” Johnson said during post game on 106.7 The Fan. “He was a lot more aggressive today. He hit a couple of first pitch fast balls which he hadn’t done. That tells me he is starting to feel pretty good.”
Johnson said the coaching staff has worked with Werth and getting him to go after fast balls earlier in the count, but Thursday’s approach wasn’t because Johnson told him to focus on it specifically.
“A lot of people have talked to him about it, but he is doing that on his own,” Johnson said. “Obviously, he is leading this club in walks and he is probably leading the league in pitches taken. It was fun to see him get real aggressive out there.”
There has been a slight up tick for Werth’s batting numbers since the beginning of the road trip in Atlanta. Werth has gone 6-for-23 for a .261 average, with five walks and six strikeouts since July 15.
Now, that is not setting the world on fire, but if Werth is attacking the fastball earlier and not just sitting through at-bats, this is a good sign Werth is starting to dictate more to the pitcher. This might be the opening Werth has been looking for to battle through a rough season at the plate.