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The disappointing end to Nationals' outfielder Jayson Werth's strong 2014 campaign

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Washington Nationals' outfielder Jayson Werth declined to speak to reporters after the Nats' season-ending loss in Game 4 of the NLDS in San Francisco. The 35-year-old outfielder's disappointing postseason came at the end of a strong 2014 campaign.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Jayson Werth's twelfth major league season and his seventh postseason run ended with the 35-year-old Washington Nationals' outfielder going 1 for 17 in the NLDS against the San Francisco Giants.

Werth's only hit in the series came in the sixth of his eight at bats in the Nats' 18-inning Game 2 loss in the nation's capital.

After the 2014 campaign and the Nationals' second playoff run in three years ended in Game 4 in AT&T Park, "Werth, through a team spokesman, declined comment...," as The Washington Post's James Wagner reported that night.

Werth wasn't the only Nationals' hitter to struggle in the series, of course, as Adam LaRoche (1 for 18 in the NLDS) explained in the WaPost reporter's October article.

"We had a couple guys hitting and it’s hard to win games when you’ve got two of the eight guys swinging the bat. It’s frustrating."

Nats' skipper Matt Williams talked about his hitters' offensive issues before the third game of the series, when a reporter asked about their approach.

"I just think that it's a little bit of impatience," Williams said. "There's been some‑‑ both guys [Jake Peavy and Tim Hudson] [who] have pitched against us live down in the strike zone and below the strike zone. So the key is to be patient.

"If he gets too crouched he tends to get long with his stride. So he just made a minor adjustment, he stood a little taller the plate. It gets him on top of the baseball a little bit more." - Matt Williams on Jayson Werth's adjustments in June/July

"And I think that we have swung at some pitches that have been down and out of the strike zone, which has resulted in some early early outs and not being able to string things together."

"They did a great job," Ian Desmond said of the Giants' pitchers after the Game 4 loss.

The Nationals' veteran shortstop was asked by reporters if there was something different the Nationals should have done, fundamentally speaking, an adjustement they should have made, or if it was baseball where sometimes balls don't fall in and things don't go your way?

"If I had the answer, I probably would have made the adjustment," Desmond said. "It's going to have to be something that we look back on, kind of regroup and find an answer to that question."

Werth was, as the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore noted, "one of the only Nationals who declined to speak to reporters afterward."

In late August, the veteran outfielder, who battled through a shoulder issue which led to him receiving a cortisone shot earlier that month, declined to discuss what he accomplished personally to that point in his fourth season in D.C., but he did tell reporters including the WaPost's Kilgore, that he saw the final month-plus as one of the more important stretches of his career:

"'I think we got a month to go, and arguably the most important month of my career. Ask me in a month, or maybe two, and I’ll have a better answer for you. I like the way we’re playing. I like the way we’re going about it. I like our team. We got a long way to go.'"

In September, Werth went 23 for 71 (.324/.478/.479) with six doubles, a triple, a home run, 19 walks and 12 Ks in 21 games to finish the year with a .292/.394/.455 line, 37 doubles and 16 HRs in 147 games and 629 PAs over which he was worth +4.8 fWAR.

After he struggled through a month of June in which he put up a .212/.297/.293 line in 99 PAs, dropping his line on the year from .290/.371/.405 to .266/.349/.370, Werth finished the fourth-year of the seven-year deal he signed with the Nationals with a run of 68 games and 285 plate appearances from July through September over which he posted a .328/.449/.568 line with 23 of his 37 doubles and 10 of his 16 home runs hit over that stretch.

He never put the season in context, however, never gave reporters a better answer as to what it meant to him to have another solid major league season at 35, never talked about the disappointment of losing in the NLDS for the second time in three seasons.

Washington Post columnist Dan Steinberg collected some of the more vitriolic reactions to Werth's decision to skip the post game scrums in San Francisco.

"'Jayson Werth hid,'" Tony Kornheiser said on ESPN 980 in October as quoted by Snyder.

"'[He] said I don’t want to talk to them. You know, let me pose for another gnome. Or let me look around so that I can see how great I am in the galaxy, because I can hit a baseball. But he didn’t want to talk."

"[Y]ou don’t speak to reporters on the last night of the season," the Washington Post's Mike Wise wrote, "instead ducking out and leaving your teammates to answer for their surprising loss? Nuh-uh, that’s not leadership."

Werth will get an opportunity to address his 2014 campaign and answer that criticism soon.

He is on the list of players scheduled to appear at next Saturday's NatsFest.