Aug 29, 2013, 1:19 AM EDT
Perhaps during his dark days of 2011, or perhaps even earlier this season when he was still rediscovering his swing, Jayson Werth would have been pitched to in the seventh inning of a tie game and the go-ahead run in scoring position.
Not these days, though, not with Werth as productive and as feared as any hitter in the National League.
“He’s playing unbelievable,” Ian Desmond said. “This is the Jayson I remember playing against in Philadelphia: The grinding-type at-bats, a lot of balls hit on the barrel, working the count.”
So Marlins manager Mike Redmond instructed reliever Mike Dunn to throw four intentional balls to Werth in that key spot in the bottom of the seventh, bringing Desmond to the plate with a chance to give the Nationals the lead. Which Desmond did, roping the two-out, RBI single that spurred the Nationals to a 4-3 victory and continued their slow climb back into contention.
“I don’t even know if I hit a strike, to be honest,” said Desmond, who somehow managed to turn on Dunn’s well-inside slider. “But fortunately it got the job done.”
NL EAST STANDINGS
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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