Maybe Jayson Werth needs to order more of his bats from his manufacturer to hand out to his teammates.
Adam LaRoche would certainly request one.
Werth had two hits and LaRoche cranked a solo homer as the Nationals guaranteed a series win over the Brewers with a 3-0 win on Saturday.
Werth left the game in the sixth inning. Manager Davey Johnson said on MASN’s “Nats Xtra” that Werth injured his groin again. Johnson does not believe it is serious. Werth will not play Sunday and Johnson is hopeful Werth will return Monday for the opener against Atlanta.
With the two base hits Saturday, Werth is hitting .438 (14-for-32) the last 10 games. His average is now .313.
According to MASN’s Julie Alexandria, LaRoche, struggling in a 3-for-36 slump (.083), went with a suggestion from shortstop Ian Desmond, and used Werth’s bat in the sixth inning against Milwaukee’s Donovan Hand.
LaRoche promptly crushed an opposite field home run to give the Nationals a 3-0 lead.
That decision might be exactly what LaRoche has been looking for to get his offense back on track. He had said last week when he gets in these kinds of slumps all it usually takes is one hit to get him out of it.
The home run Saturday, his first since July 22 against Pittsburgh, could be that hit that LaRoche has been searching for to ignite his offensive game.
LaRoche is really the last bat in the lineup, especially the middle order, that the Nationals have needed to get going. Time is running out. If LaRoche can get going at the plate, that could be the missing link to the consistency the Nationals have sought all season from their offense.
With Johnson’s decision to move Denard Span back to the leadoff spot, the Nationals now have Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Werth. LaRoche, Desmond and Wilson Ramos where they want them to drive in runs.
Ramos also connected Saturday, hitting his seventh homer of the season in the fifth.
Werth scored the first run of the game on an Anthony Rendon sacrifice fly. His reaction upon sliding home with the run seemingly pumped up the dugout. He jumped up screaming “Yeah!” and clapping his hands.
He is putting together what could turn out to be his best season so far in a Nationals uniform. Werth hit .232 in 2011, .300 in 2012 and is now hitting .313 heading into Sunday’s tilt against the Brewers.
Werth has already hit the most memorable playoff home run in Nationals history. Now he is finding out his bat in 2013 has plenty of hits in it, not only for himself, but for LaRoche as well.
Hopefully, the groin injury to Werth won’t prevent him from picking up his bat again on Monday.