Jayson Werth is a damn good baseball player: he can hit for average, he can hit for power, he plays above-average defense, he has a cannon for an arm, and he’s very efficient on the base paths. That last tool of his was very evident during tonight’s game against the L.A. Dodgers — a 5-3 victory for the Phillies.
J-Dub already had a stolen base next to his name in the box score going into the seventh inning. With one out against Dodgers lefty reliever Will Ohman, Werth hit a single to left field. Ryan Howard followed up with a strike out for the second out. That gave Werth good reason to move into scoring position with Jimmy Rollins due up (Rollins had been moved down in the batting order to try and get him out of his slump).
After Rollins worked a 1-1 count, Werth stole second. After the count ran to 3-1, Rollins was intentionally walked, putting runners on first and second for Raul Ibanez. That still wasn’t enough for Werth, though, as he led a double steal after the count went to 2-1. Ibanez worked a walk, loading the bases for Pedro Feliz.
This is where it got really interesting. Werth must have noticed that Dodgers catcher Russell Martin lackadaisically returned the ball to the pitcher. With Feliz facing a 2-1 count, he took a strike, and Martin took his time returning the ball to pitcher Ronald Belisario. As soon as Martin released the ball, Werth broke to the plate, and Belisario couldn’t flip it back to Martin quick enough for the out.
Jayson Werth stole home. And four bases in one night: second, third (twice), and home.
There were a couple other surprises in the game as well: Ryan Howard stole a base, and Pedro Feliz walked four — yes, four — times.
Feliz only walked more than once in a game three times last season: two apiece on April 19, June 6, and July 11. He walked twice once in 2007; thrice once and twice once in ’06 and ’04; and thrice once and twice four times in ’05. This marks the third game already this season (30 games) where he’s walked multiple times in a game.
His on-base percentage is now at .377. Consider that, since 2004 when he started playing every day, his OBP has finished under .300 in three of those five seasons, his newfound plate discipline is quite remarkable.