ATLANTA — When Jayson Werth fouled a pitch from Eric O’Flaherty into his own left ankle Monday night, the Washington Nationals’ big right fielder crumbled to the dirt and struggled for a few minutes to put weight on his leg.
Werth stayed in and finished his at-bat, a strikeout. But between the foul ball and a hamstring issue that was already bothering him enough that before he went to the plate he told manager Davey Johnson that if he got on, he’d have to be run for, Werth may need a day or two off.
“It was tight all day, really, just never really got loose,” Werth said of his hamstring issue, though he refused to point to that as a reason why his throw home in the seventh inning was off-line.
“Started having some muscle cramps toward the latter part of the game, I think the inning before (my at-bat) I had some action in right and it just cramped up pretty good. I wanted to hit. I felt like, take our chances there against a lefty, so he let me hit, but I told him with me being the tying run, he’d probably need to run for me.”
Werth said it was too early to tell if he’d need to sit out of Tuesday game, with both issues combining to make things a little tougher on him than if it was just one or the other. He did say, however, that he’s unconcerned about his hamstring issue, that it is only a cramp and not a pull or a strain.