10/08/09 9:50 PM ET
Werth providing power so far in NLDS
Outfielder's breakout regular season continues in playoffs
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
Already an All-Star with a 30-homer season under his belt, Jayson Werth certainly doesn't fall into the same category as Buddy Biancalana, who established himself as part of baseball lore simply based on the splendid October he shared with the Royals in 1985.
But through the first two games of this year's National League Division Series against the Rockies, Werth has certainly proved to be every bit as impressive as Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and the flock of other All-Stars that inhabit Philadelphia's clubhouse.
"The game is funny," Werth said. "The last week of the regular season I wasn't really feeling it for whatever reason. Then I got a couple of days off, and then the first strike I saw [on Wednesday] I hit a bullet and had good at-bats all day."
|Gm. 1||PHI 5, COL 1||Wrap||Video|
|Gm. 2||COL 5, PHI 4||Wrap||Video|
|Gm. 3||PHI 6, COL 5||Wrap||Video|
|Gm. 4||PHI 5, COL 4||Wrap||Video|
During the first two games of the NLDS, Werth has collected three hits in seven at-bats and displayed the power that helped him hit a career-high 36 homers this season. The 30-year-old outfielder considers the sixth-inning RBI triple that he drilled into a stiff wind off the center-field wall during Wednesday's sixth inning to be "the hardest ball that I've ever hit."
Werth's eighth-inning homer during Thursday afternoon's 5-4 loss provided the Phillies hope that they could erase the resulting one-run deficit. But it wasn't enough for them to prevent the Rockies from evening the series at a game apiece before heading to Coors Field to play Games 3 and 4 on Saturday and Sunday.
"Now we've got to find a way to split or win both," Werth said. "Most importantly, we need to get home-field advantage back in our favor and find a way to get it done. We're in a situation now that reminds me of when we went to Tampa last year and split the first two games of the World Series."
After that, the Phillies returned to Philadelphia and benefited from home-field advantage by winning each of the next three games.
Something will have to give this weekend. The Phillies notched an NL-best 48 road victories and the Rockies went 51-30 at home this year.
"We're a good road team, and I think we'll be all right," Werth said.
Werth certainly doesn't have any reason to feel hesitant about the fact that he's heading into chilly Denver temperatures with a hot bat. This year at Coors Field, he recorded seven hits, including a double, triple and homer, in 12 at-bats. During his career at the offensively friendly haven, he has hit .333 (23-for-69) with four homers and a .638 slugging percentage.
"I just need to stay right where I'm at and continue to have good at-bats and help us win ballgames," Werth said.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.