Jayson Werth doubled in the first inning on Wednesday to extend his on-base streak to 40-straight games.
It’s the longest on-base streak in the majors this season and the second-longest in franchise history (2005-present), behind only Ryan Zimmerman’s franchise-best 43-game on-base streak from 2009.
Werth was asked after the win over the Cleveland Indians what the streak meant to him in an on-field interview with MASN’s Dan Kolko.
“Not a record,” Werth said.
“Until we get the record it doesn’t mean anything?” Kolko asked.
“It means nothing,” Werth responded.
His manager did, however, say it was a good sign that the 37-year-old veteran had warmed up as he said he would and as Dusty Baker hoped he would.
“He’s been around long enough to understand how to do almost anything in the order,” Baker told reporters.
“And he’s a veteran. He struggled early. Glad to see him come to life, and even though he’s struggled, he still has 15 home runs. And he assured me that he’s a second-half hot-weather player and boy, I’d sure like to see him get hot and we need a few other guys to get hot, but if you have somebody in the top of the lineup getting on base and the pitcher has to throw to [Daniel] Murphy in the stretch, that’s the objective.”
Over the course of the on-base streak, Werth has put up a .259/.386/.453 line with 12 doubles, five home runs, 30 walks and 37 Ks in 171 PAs, and, as Baker noted, he has “posted up” whenever called upon, which provides a good example for his teammates.
“He shows the young how to post up, you know what I mean?” Baker said.
“Cause when he goes out there, he’s not always 100%, and now in the days of modern baseball, something’s wrong with a couple guys and even if it’s minor, they have a tendency not to play unless they’re a 100%, but Jayson shows you how to go out there and get the job done. He’s old school. Big time. It’s good to have a guy like that to show these guys the way on how to play and how to be a professional.”
He starts the three-game set with the Atlanta Braves with a .253/.345/.439 line on the year, 23 doubles and 15 HRs in 426 PAs. Werth may not be 100%, but he’s going out to help the Nationals in every way he can.
“The only way that nothing is bothering you is if you haven’t played,” Baker said when asked about playing injured at this point in the season.
“The other day Jayson Werth kind of strolled in, he looked like an old man, and then when the game starts he looked like a young chicken.”
Reaching base in 40-straight games is a good way to contribute and get the Nationals over the hump in the months to come.
Will Werth and his Nationals teammates be motivated by a run at the division title?
“It’s almost hero time,” Baker said. “When you’ve got to go out there and find a way to play and find a way to play effectively.”