ATLANTA — Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth left Thursday night’s game against the Atlanta Braves when his right hamstring tightened up on him in the fifth inning. Manager Davey Johnson said Werth may need a few days of rest and kicked himself for allowing Werth to play at all.
Werth, who missed the previous two games with a swollen left ankle in addition to cramping in his hamstring, promised Johnson that if he played in Thursday’s game he’d remain honest with the manager about how was feeling.
When he went to field Freddie Freeman’s single in the fourth inning, the ball skipped away from him a bit and Werth felt his hamstring tighten as he reached for it.
“The reason he didn’t want me to play is because he didn’t want me to get hurt and injure it severely, where I’d have to go on the DL,” Werth said. “He didn’t want to lose me. So I told him I’d be totally honest with him. When that happened, I was like ‘Hey, I told you I’d be honest. It tightened up.’ He said OK and I was out of there.”
The doctors looked at Werth after he came out and told him it was a mild issue, “nothing severe.”
“He’s a smart enough player to know that it was very close to pulling and it just got real tight on him,” Johnson said. “I talked to Lee Kuntz our head trainer and he said it’s a pull down at the bottom of the hammy.”
Werth said he’d see how he felt on Friday in Pittsburgh, but that he’d understand if he needed a day or two to rest.
“I’ve never had any hamstring issues ever,” Werth said. “This is kind of uncharted territory for me, but obviously I’ve had muscle strains and stuff like that. This just feels like tightness. And I was fine up until (the fourth inning), so hopefully it’s nothing. I felt like I could go… I don’t feel like i was doing anything that I shouldn’t have been doing, playing. Just one of those things.
“We’ll see how it feels tomorrow, but usually in this game if you come out of a game from injury, you usually don’t get to play the next day. That’s fair.”