Continued from page 1

They held the ferocious Cardinals lineup to one unearned run. They made it OK that their offense didn’t put a single runner into scoring position all day. That they only mustered three hits. That Adam LaRoche’s home run to lead off the second inning would be enough until the ninth.

They made it possible for Werth to win the game.

“The people that cheer ‘Werthless,’ he’s not worthless,” said shortstop Ian Desmond, who made a diving catch down the left field line to end the top of the ninth. “He hit fifth basically his whole life. To come in and accept the leadoff role and be in that situation, if he’s hitting fifth, he’s not hitting right there. He reaped the benefits of being a selfless player. That’s why he’s our leader.”

“To get grown men, professional athletes, excited like kids … there’s certain moments,” third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said. “That’s one of them. Where it’s no holds barred and you can do whatever you want. That’s what Jayson did there.”