The time was right for Werth to sit, the improbability of a potential Nationals sweep and other pregame notes

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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth is out of the lineup for the team’s series finale in Florida this afternoon but it’s nothing more than a routine day off, he said.

Werth has missed just one other game this season, the nightcap of the Nationals doubleheader against the Brewers in April and the timing was right for him to sit today.

Not only does the team have an off day coming up on Monday before they open a three-game series in Atlanta — meaning Werth will really get two straight days of rest — his numbers against Marlins’ right-hander Anibal Sanchez are, to put it lightly, not great.

Werth is 2-for-22 with 15 strikeouts in his career against Sanchez. That’s five more than any other pitcher Werth has faced in his entire career. Roy Oswalt and Josh Johnson are tied for second with 10 but Sanchez stands alone in his domination of the Nationals right fielder.

How dominant? Of pitchers Werth has at least 20 career at-bats against, of which there are 13, Sanchez has struck Werth out six times more than anyone else in that group. Javier Vazquez is second with nine. 

Conversely, Laynce Nix, who is playing right field in his place and batting third, while 0-for-3 in his career, has never struck out against Sanchez, so, I suppose that’s something.

– The Nationals have a chance at the series sweep this afternoon in Florida. If they pull it off, it will be just the second sweep of the Marlins in Florida in Nationals history. Since the team moved to Washington in 2005, they are 43-69 against the Marlins and are just 18-36 in Florida in that time. 

The last (and only) time the Nationals swept the Marlins in Florida was September 26-28, 2005.

The last time the Nationals even won a series in Florida was in September of 2009 — and in 18 series in Florida this is just the fourth time since they became the Nationals that Washington has even won a series.

They have swept the Marlins five times, the most recent coming August 4-6, 2009, but four of those five times, including that one, were in Washington.

– The Nationals were all breaking in their new pink gear Sunday morning in honor of Mother’s Day and part of MLB’s work to raise money for the fight against breast cancer and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation

Catcher Ivan Rodriguez will wear a special catcher’s mask with a pink cage along with a new chest protector with pink accents.

Several players, including Rodriguez, will also don pink Under Armour cleats, use pink bats and sport pink wristbands and necklaces. Even the lineup card posted in the Nationals clubhouse this morning was pink and all of it will be put up for auction to raise money for MLB’s “Going to Bat against Breast Cancer” initiative. 

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About the Author
Amanda Comak

Amanda Comak

Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at acomak@washingtontimes.com and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.

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