Apr 13, 2011, 4:00 AM EDT
Associated Press photo
Jayson Werth homered and doubled in his first game against his former team.
The Nationals signed Jayson Werth over the winter and asked the $126 million right fielder not to carry this team on his shoulders but to share the load with the franchise’s other core players, most notably Ryan Zimmerman.
Well, with Zimmerman on the disabled list for at least the next two weeks, the load most definitely is being handed over to Werth. A club that has struggled to score runs in bunches so far this season must be able to count on its richest player to produce when it counts.
So the fact Werth delivered tonight — homering, doubling, scoring twice and drawing a walk to lead the Nationals to a 7-4 victory — can’t be understated. That he happened it do it in his first game against his former Phillies teammates was merely icing on the cake.
“That’s not easy,” second baseman Danny Espinosa said, “to go against your old team and have the great night he had.”
No, but Werth sure made it look easy. You’d never know he entered this game in an 0-for-10 mini-slump, or that he was playing in front of a surprisingly hostile crowd in his home ballpark, a product of all the Phillies fans who made the trip down I-95 and booed their former star every time he touched the ball.
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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