Nationals' Jayson Werth Named NL Player Of The Month; But Scratched From Lineup vs Braves

Greg Fiume

Moments after Nationals' outfielder Jayson Werth was named the NL Player of the Month for the month of July, the 34-year-old outfielder who had a bruised hand and a bothersome groin after this weekend's series in Milwaukee was scratched from the Nats' lineup for the series opener with Atlanta.

So... to recap:

Washington Nationals' manager Davey Johnson told reporters after Saturday night's win over the Milwaukee Brewers in Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that the Nats' 34-year-old right fielder Jayson Werth had tweaked his groin and was lifted early as a precaution. "I took him out," the Nats' 70-year-old skipper explained, "And I'm going to probably give him [Sunday] off. Hopefully he's going to be good to go on Monday."

"He wanted to play. He's had success against Lohse. And I said, 'I certainly want you in there, you're swinging the bat better than anybody on the club.'" - Davey Johnson on Werth being in lineup Sunday

Werth, who missed time with two hamstring injuries earlier this season, had experienced a similar issue with his groin earlier this summer, but didn't need a DL stint to clear it up.

"Evidently he went down for a ball in the corner or something and kind of messed it up a little bit," Johnson said.

Come Sunday, however, Werth's name was penciled into the Nationals' lineup for the series finale with the Brewers.

"A day can go a long way," Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore quoted the outfielder explaining, but during the game, Werth was hit by pitches twice, though he was awarded a base in just one of the two instances, and after what ended up a disappointing 8-5 loss, he had a bruised right hand that needed X-rays, which were negative, bruised ribs from the first of the two HBPs and a still-sore groin which appeared to his manager to slow him considerably on defense.

Werth went 2 for 3 in the series finale in Milwaukee and left Wisconsin having gone 7 for 10 with a .317/.386/.511 line on the year. Davey Johnson said late Sunday afternoon that the veteran outfielder had talked his way into the Nationals' lineup for the final game with the Brewers.

"He wanted to play," Johnson said. "He's had success against Lohse," against whom Werth was 8 for 28 with 3 doubles and 3 HRs in their respective careers before Sunday's matchup, "and I said, 'I certainly want you in there, you're swinging the bat better than anybody on the club.' He went out and did some running and he felt he was good to go. Probably should have gotten him out of there, he wasn't moving too good, but he gutted it out."

Asked if he felt Werth would be available for the series opener with Atlanta tonight in Nationals Park, Johnson said, "I think so." Werth was listed in the lineup initially, but he was then scratched, only moments after the Nats announced that he had been named the National League's Player of the Month for the Month of July:

No word on the reason for the late scratch. More info when it's available...

Update Nats' Lineup vs Braves:

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