Aug 11, 2013, 4:30 AM EST
Jayson Werth has been an easy target for cynical baseball fans, both from within the District and around the sport, since signing a $126 million contract with the Nationals prior to the 2011 season. That contract figure forever will be attached to Werth’s name, and even his staunchest supporters will admit he’ll never live up to that mammoth number.
Try for a moment, though, to ignore the money and focus simply on what Werth has done on the field for the Nationals, most notably over the last two seasons. His actual contributions have been immense.
“He’s doing an unbelievable job leading this team,” Bryce Harper said. “It’s a lot of fun to watch, being able to see him get hits against unbelievable pitchers and seeing him do his thing.”
Washington fans got an opportunity to shower Werth with some well-deserved praise Saturday night when the veteran right fielder reached a personal milestone and delivered the biggest blast of the Nationals’ 8-5 victory over the Phillies all with one mighty swing. His two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh highlighted a five-run rally, putting the Nationals ahead for the first time in a game they once trailed 4-0, and represented the 1,000th hit of his career, to boot.
For that, the crowd of 32,676 coaxed Werth out of the dugout for a curtain call.
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