What does Jayson Werth remember about his game-winning, walk-off home run off Lance Lynn in the bottom of the ninth inning, a homer which gave the Nationals new life in the best-of-five National League Division Series and let them play one more day?
Not a whole lot.
“It’s almost like I blacked out,” Werth said after the game. “A Will Ferrell moment.”
The pieces Werth does remember are brief flashes.
The 2-2 curveball from the hard-throwing Cardinals reliever that bent just out of the zone, keeping Werth’s at-bat alive.
“After that pitch, I figured he wasn’t going to mess around with (the curve),” Werth said. “Kinda hoping he’d just go with the heater. I wanted to get back on the heater. I think I fouled a couple pitches off from there.”
The spot where he realized he’d been standing at the plate for a while, and looked up to the scoreboard to see how deep the at-bat had gone.
“I looked up there and was like, ‘How many pitches does he have?’ ” Werth said. “And I saw 12 and I was like, ‘Is that right?’ I had to really study the board to make sure that was correct. But I guess it didn’t last much longer.”
Getting a high-five from first base coach Trent Jewett as the ball sailed over the left field fence and past some Cardinals relievers seated in the visitor’s bullpen.
“He never gives you high-fives on homers,” Werth said. “I’ve been on him for like two years. Why don’t you come give me a high-five? Davey Lopes, I had him for four years (as a first base coach) in Philly. He’d always be right there to give you a high-five. And Trent finally gave me a high-five on a home run. I knew then it was a special moment.”
The 13-pitch battle, which included seven foul balls, felt like it went on forever. For Lynn, firing pitch after pitch in front of 44,392 screaming fans, it must have seemed like ages. But those type of battles are nothing new for Werth. He had one before hammering a walk-off homer over the Marlins in a Sept. 8 win and worked the same type of at-bat against Drew Storen when he played with the Phillies before slamming a game-winning homer that game, as well.
“We get bored because we see it every day,” Ryan Zimmerman said. “For him to be a full count every single at-bat, that’s odd - but that’s Jayson. I’m just ... happy that these fans got to see this. He had a rough year last year and got hurt this year. I don’t think the fans realize how good of a player Jayson is. For him to have a moment like this in front of the home fans and in front of this atmosphere, I couldn’t be happier for him. He deserves it.”
When Werth reached home plate, his teammates were there waiting for him. They celebrated together for a minute or so, then Werth separated from the pack to do a TV interview on the field. As he stood there, the crowd embraced him, and Werth responded by tossing his batting gloves into the air and pumping his fist in sheer joy.
These are the moments that Werth wanted to bring to Washington when he signed here for seven years and $126 million. His first season in D.C. was a rough one, for sure. His second saw him miss 75 games because of a broken wrist. And that might have just made this moment even that much sweeter.
“This is what you play all season for,” Werth said. “This is why you work out all winter. This is why you start playing t-ball when you’re 4. This is baseball, man. This is why you play.”