CHICAGO - All spring, we heard Jayson Werth talk about how confident he was feeling at the plate.
We heard manager Davey Johnson say he was seeing a major difference in Werth this year, not only during Grapefruit League games, but even during batting practice.
Through the season’s first three regular season games, the results just haven’t been there for the Nationals right fielder. And his stat line doesn’t look too pretty.
In the three contests at Wrigley Field, Werth went 0-for-10 with five strikeouts and three walks.
Still, despite the hitless start, Werth says his confidence hasn’t been shaken at all.
“Yeah, I feel good,” he said after today’s game.
Werth looked like he had his first hit of the 2012 campaign when he ripped a ball down the third base line in the seventh inning today, only to have Cubs third baseman Ian Stewart make a diving grab and then gun Werth at first base. That’s just how it goes sometimes when you’re struggling.
One positive that Werth can take from this opening series is that he’s drawn some big walks, indicating that he’s still seeing the ball fairly well. He drove in the game-tying run with a walk in the season opener, took a base on balls in the eighth inning yesterday, and then walked again in the ninth inning today, bringing the potential go-ahead run to the plate.
“I’ve had to work some walks in some tight spots against some pretty good pitchers, and I swung the bat good the first day.” Werth said. “I feel like I hit two balls pretty well, but in the conditions, didn’t come up with anything. Hit a ball today a guy dives for and makes a good play on me. It’s part of the game. Played three games and we won two of them, that’s the main thing.”
Werth isn’t concerned about his hitless start and neither is his manager.
“He’s hit some balls on the nose,” Davey Johnson said. “He’s not quite where he wants to be, but he’s a gamer. He’s going to be alright.”