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Aggressive approach paying off for Nationals’ Werth
Question of the Day
On Tuesday, the Nationals went down in order in the first inning. They also made Jake Peavy throw 26 pitches to get those three outs. Denard Span saw eight, Werth saw seven and Bryce Harper made Peavy use 11. With his pitch count soaring in the fifth and sixth innings, Peavy surrendered three home runs.
“By the time you get to Harp, [Ryan Zimmerman] and [Adam LaRoche], you’ve thrown a lot of pitches and that takes a toll,” Werth said. “Chances are you’re not going to be as sharp as the game goes on. You might leave one over the plate. You might leave one up. With the guys we’ve got hitting three, four, five, six, those guys can do damage to pitches like that.”
In 2009, Werth hit fifth behind Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in the Philadelphia Phillies’ lineup. All three of them were in the top 15 in pitches seen per plate appearance in the National League. As the season went on, Werth saw what that did to their opponents.
“By the time you get to the middle of the order, you’ve thrown more pitches over the course of a season to those three hitters than really anyone else in the league,” Werth said.
“It makes it tough on the other team. It makes it tough on the starter. It gets you into the bullpen, gets you to see that sixth-inning guy. Those are the guys you want to see. Those are the guys you can do damage against.”
That’s the strategy. The plan. So long as Werth remains comfortable, though, his pitches per plate appearance may go down slightly while his production goes up.
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About the Author
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 email@example.com and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.
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