10/05/12 1:59 PM ET
Werth: Nats have talent, heart to be special club
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
Werth sounded like a man who believes Washington is the team to beat. It helps that the club has a dominant pitching staff and an offense that has been solid since May.
"Going into the postseason, you need a lot of weapons, and this team possesses a lot of weapons," Werth said. "Postseason experience doesn't matter. You gain experience by experiencing it. That's the only way. ... [Almost] everyone is going into this situation with no experience. We'll see who stands at the end of the day. I like where we are at. I like our mindset. I like how we come to the park every day ready to play. Once the game starts, I really like the way we play the game."
Werth played on the 2008 Phillies, who won the World Series. When asked to compare that team to the current Nationals team, Werth favored the Nationals.
"This team is way younger," Werth said. "This team has dominant pitching. [I'm not saying the Phillies] didn't have dominant pitching, but -- I don't want to say the wrong thing here and make everybody mad -- but Jordan [Zimmermann] is not regarded as one of the top pitchers in league, but he is. He is, hands down. So is E.J. [Edwin Jackson]. Ross [Detwiler] goes 95 mph from the left side. Those guys are dominant pitchers. The lineup -- one through seven -- can hit you 20 home runs. That's different. I see the heart. That is similar. That's one thing coming into last year, I didn't see. I didn't see the heart until September of last year.
"When I was in Philly ... a player signed there because they felt like the team would rip your heart out and stand there and eat it in front of you. I totally agreed with them. I think the Nationals are the same way."
Werth is one of the reasons the Nationals have a lot of heart this season. After coming off the disabled list on Aug. 2, Werth batted .306 with two home runs, 19 RBIs and 31 runs scored in 53 games.
For most of that time, the Nationals didn't have to worry about a leadoff hitter -- at least for this year. He hit over .300 and had an on-base percentage over .390.
Is Werth satisfied with the way the team has progressed? You bet. But he wants another championship ring.
"I'm a little bit satisfied with the way we play the game," Werth said. "It's a lot easier when you win, relax and have fun. When you don't see things done the right way, it's hard to be happy, it's hard to be satisfied. Here we are a year later, we are the best team in baseball.
"We have a great clubhouse, we have a great group of guys, we have a manager [Davey Johnson] who is tough as nails, but also is real easy to play for. We have a great support staff with our coaches and trainers. We have kids coming up from the Minor Leagues helping us win ballgames. We have a group of guys ... who have more heart than maybe any other team I ever played on."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.