Jayson Werth has no problem wearing the black hat in Philadelphia. The Nationals’ highest-priced player loves making life miserable for his former teammates in the park where he helped the Phillies win their second championship in their mostly woebegone history.
A battle was won by Werth over Cole Hamels after he blasted a homer to give the Nationals the lead. However, King Cole and the Phillies won the war by defeating the Nats, 4-2, Tuesday night. Werth was up with the bases loaded in the eighth inning with two outs. He flied out to deep center.
“We were playing a guessing game the whole game,” Hamels said of Werth. “He got me with that first at-bat. It’s a serious chess match between us. He’s a great hitter, so you have to make good pitches to him.”
Hamels made good pitches to just about every member of the Nats’ lineup. He gave up one run on six hits in eight stellar innings to improve to 4-11.
“He threw a heck of a game,” Charlie Manuel said. “He was absolutely outstanding in the eighth inning. I liked everything about it.”
It appeared as if Manuel would yank Hamels while visiting the mound in the eighth with one out and the bases loaded.
“I just said, ‘I’m not here to take you out,'” Manuel said. ‘I’m here to take a look at you.’He grinned. I said, ‘You gonna get him?’ and he said, ‘I’ll get him.’
Hamels proceeded to strike out Ryan Zimmerman on three pitches before dispatching Werth with a fly to Revere. The ballpark approximated playoff intensity during Werth’s at-bat and was loud as it’s been this season after the Nats’ villain failed.
“Werth came close but no cigar,” Manuel said. “It was a heck of a game.”
It’s the first time Hamels has had back-to-back wins this season. But it wasn’t just Hamels. Domonic Brown had a big hit and RBI. Ben Revere led the team with two hits and a run scored.
“We’ve been playing a lot better,” Manuel said. “It just goes to show you that we can win games when we play good.”
Michael Young stroked a two-run double, which was the difference in the game. It was something to build on as the Phillies are now just a game under .500 at 45-46.
“Getting over .500 is better than being under it,” Michael Young said. “But it will still send us home after the last game of the regular season. For us to go where we want, we have to play better.”