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Changing perceptions by beating Phillies

Apr 11, 2011, 3:22 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Jayson Werth faces his former Phillies teammates for the first time tomorrow night.

NEW YORK — Jayson Werth was holding court with a group of reporters Saturday at Citi Field, fielding questions about his impending rendezvous with the Phillies, when someone pointed out his new team was on a winning streak.

“Two? Is that a streak?” the Nationals’ right fielder asked.

“For the Nationals, it is,” the reporter replied.

Werth playfully teased back for a moment before turning serious.

“Unfortunately, I feel like that’s the expectations of this team, things like that,” he said. “I feel like that’s a very typical answer from, not the guys in here, but I feel like that’s the expectation of the fans and the media. And that is something I want to change.”

Werth knew the daunting task he would face upon leaving Philadelphia in December to sign with the Nationals for seven years and $126 million. Having spent the previous four seasons playing for the annual NL East champions (not to mention the 2008 World Series winners) he was now headed to a franchise that had yet to post a winning record in its first six years in the District.
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  1. Manassas Nats Fan - Apr 11, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    Let's win 2 out of 3.

  2. Steve M. - Apr 11, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qwq7BYOnDrMJim Mora on PLAYOFFS!?!?!? Substitute "winning streaks" for that.You have Zim out for a while and LaRoche banged up. This is probably not the time to look at a fair matchup with the Phillies facing Halladay on Wednesday and Cliff Lee on Thursday.

  3. PAY TO PLAY - Apr 11, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    Joe Blanton vs. Livan Hernandez on TuesdayHalladay vs. Lannan on WednesdayCliff Lee vs. Jordan Zimmermann on ThursdayLannan and JZim pulled the 2 short straws. Luckily the Nats did get Joe Blanton in the rotation as to miss Oswalt and Hamels.Expect the Umpires to make calls like it is Greg Maddux pitching too.

  4. Pete - Apr 11, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    Hmm… I'm worried about Zimmerman and LaRoche injuries. It's really early on in the season for this sort of unfortunate injury news.

  5. SonnyG10 - Apr 11, 2011 at 3:54 PM

    These Phillie pitchers can be had. Let's sweep the Phillies and put them in their place. For Jayson's sake I hope he has an outstanding series against his old team.

  6. DCJohn - Apr 11, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    The Nats veterans haven't been exactly tearing up the place. Maybe they are pacing themselves, not getting too excited. On the other hand, the Phillies have pretty much steam rolled the competition. They are looking at this 3 game series as an ideal way to pad their divison lead. The plan all winter has been to play the Phillies close and get the game into bull pen. Maybe that's why there so much celebration after the Mets win. It would be lovely to see it repeated three times this week against the best team in baseball.

  7. carolync - Apr 11, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    There's a very rainy forecast for tomorrow. A rain-out would give our walking wounded another healing day. But then Livo against Blanton would seem our best chance to take one of these games and get some momentum for the next two.Everyone get to the games regardless. We have to drown out those obnoxious Phillies fans!Go Nats!

  8. PAY TO PLAY - Apr 11, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    DCJohn, that is definitely the strategy. Our starting pitchers have to go toe-to-toe with the Phillie starters and hope for the best in the 8th and 9th innings with the bullpens where the Nats have an advantage.The key is winning Tuesday against Blanton to go 5-5 and if you lose Wednesday and Thursday the sting hopefully is not too bad to carry you into the weekend series with the Brewers at 5-7.Victorino and Ruiz got real hot this week and Nats pitching has to shut them down. Just hard to imagine facing the Phillies without Ryan Zimmerman. The Phillies are tough enough to go at it with Cora at 3rd base.

  9. FS - Apr 11, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    Come on Edge, oops I mean Werth. Beat your former team for us and prove that huge contract please. I know it is hard for some of us to digest that huge contract. Anyways, we should aim for a sweep and like Werth pointed out, expect more out of this team.

  10. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    The Nats place in this week's ESPN power rankings is COMPLETELY arbitrary. How do we drop five places after taking 2/3 from the Mets?http://espn.go.com/mlb/powerrankings/_/season/2011/week/2How do we get Mark to be the source of the comments for the Nationals?

  11. Grandstander - Apr 11, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    Those power rankings are a joke. Not only did the Nats drop 5 places, but the Mets GAINED 8 places after dropping 2 of 3 to us at home. The Rays ahead of us? Whatever ESPN. Enjoy being the Fox News of sports reporting.

  12. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    Hey, after we take two out of three from the Phillies, our old friend Nyjer comes to town

  13. masnstinks - Apr 11, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    ESPN is a four letter word.

  14. PAY TO PLAY - Apr 11, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    I really like ESPN but those Power Rankings are a joke this early in the season for the most part.The Whorioles are coming back down to earth and I expect the Royals will too, and the Red Sox will slowly get back to where they should be near the top of the AL East.You have to wonder though on this Mets/Nats positioning on their board though. Very little respect given.

  15. Steve M. - Apr 11, 2011 at 5:52 PM

    Anonymous said… Hey, after we take two out of three from the Phillies, our old friend Nyjer comes to town April 11, 2011 1:25 PM Like Nyjer knows about baseball towns as much as knows about good fashion. This guy got another chance on his 9 lives and hope he embarrases himself in DC this weekend.I am looking forward to that matchup as I expect he will start in the games against Marquis and Livan.

  16. The Baltimore Joker - Apr 11, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    Zimmerman and La Roche malingering and the whole season looks down the tubes. Meanwhile, up the B-W Parkway, there's a hot team tearing up the American League. While Steven Strasburg sits around on his brains, Zach Britton is confounding all he opposes. He may not have been first pick but Britton is the better pitcher. Strasburg sits; Britton pitches.

  17. Sec 3, My Sofa - Apr 11, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    That reminds me…where's Bozo, that Phils poster from last year?

  18. Sec 3, My Sofa - Apr 11, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    I would have thought he'd be in early. Unless he's waiting to make sure they win, first. Hey, I don't blame him. This may be their last good year for a while; he's seeing it coming, and hedging his bets.

  19. carolync - Apr 11, 2011 at 7:20 PM

    Good job, Sec 3. That Orioles poster is clearly a pathetic soul trying to get attention the only way he can. If we ignore him, I suspect he will go away.

  20. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Apr 12, 2011 at 12:14 AM

    @Baltimore Joker: Put down the National Boh can, park that rusted 1977 Olds Cutlass in a safe place, and don't quite break open your piggy bank for playoff tickets just yet.Bore-ee-holes will finish below .500…at least 15 games out of the wild card.

  21. Anonymous - Apr 12, 2011 at 1:32 AM

    I wanna like him, but this week is the test.

  22. MC 703 - Apr 12, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    @ Joker: Go read the Sun and watch The Wire

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NL EAST STANDINGS

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ATLANTA 55 46 1.0
NEW YORK 48 53 8.0
MIAMI 47 52 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 43 57 12.5
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