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“Old Man” Jayson Werth sparks Nationals’ offense in 4-0 win over the Phillies, big time

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“J.W. got us on the board, big time,” Dusty Baker told reporters after Jayson Werth homered in the first and the Nationals beat the Phillies 4-0 in Citizens Bank Park.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Jayson Werth went 1 for 5 with a walk and a home run in last night’s 4-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, leaving him with a .290/.379/.528 line, 53 doubles, five triples and 63 HRs in 317 games and 1,233 career plate appearances in Citizens Bank Park.

Washington’s 37-year-old outfielder did, of course, call CBP home for four seasons before he signed his 7-year/$126M free agent deal with the Nationals in late 2010.

He talked to MASN’s Dan Kolko after last night’s game about what he likes about hitting in the Philadelphia Phillies’ home park.

“I played a lot of games here. They’ve got a big batter’s eye. It’s close. It’s flat. The ball flies. Friendly confines. What’s not to like?” Werth asked rhetorically.

Dusty Baker said he saw signs in batting practice before last night’s series opener that Werth was feeling good.

“I could tell his swing was together in BP,” Baker said, “cause he hit a number of balls out in BP. They weren’t high, they were low, like the one he hit tonight.

“He didn’t hit it a ton, but it’s not how far, it’s how many, and we’ll take it.”

Werth connected with a 2-1 slider from Phillies’ starter Jake Thompson and hit a line drive 382 feet to left for his 19th home run of the season and his seventh in the last month, three more than he hit in any month this season.

He’s hit three in the last four games, going 6 for 20 over that stretch. Baker talked to reporters after last night’s game about what he’s seen from Werth.

“Home runs come in streaks and home runs come with a thought process,” Baker said.

“When you start hitting a couple home runs, it seems like you think about it. If you’ve gone a long time without hitting a home run, it kind of seems like a surprise to you.”

Baker said he isn’t necessarily surprised to see Werth swinging it so well.

“You know me, I always feel that water seeks its own level. And J.W. is healthy this year, where he wasn’t last year. And he’s always hit the ball out of the ballpark.

“He has 240-or-50 home runs, whatever it is, so no I’m not surprised.”

Werth has only hit 217 career home runs, actually, but he’s already hit more than he hit in his last full season in 2014 (16) and another month like he had in August could get him close to his previous season high with the Nationals (25 in 2013).

Last night’s was all the Nationals needed in the win over his former team, and Baker was happy his veteran outfielder provided a spark early in the series opener as the Nats tried to stop a two-game slide and avoid losing their seventh in the last nine.

“We hadn’t been jumping them early,” Baker said. “Earlier in year we had been jumping them early in the first inning. J.W. got us on the board, big time.”