Drew Storen meets Jayson Werth again
When Jayson Werth stepped into the cage this afternoon for live batting practice and saw Drew Storen standing on the mound, he told the catcher Storen would buzz a fastball right at him. He expected it because of their history.
The last time Werth dug in against Storen came Sept. 19 last year. Storen had climbed the mound at Citizens Bank Park in the ninth inning with a three-run lead, then surrendered three straight hits, a double and two singles that slashed the Nationals' lead to one and brought Werth to plate. Storen worked the count full and threw a slider, which Werth fouled off. On the seventh pitch of the at-bat, Werth crunched a fastball over the center field fence, a walk-off two-run home run.
And so, today, Storen had another chance at Werth. With his first pitch, just as Werth expected, Storen zipped a fastball that backed Werth off the plate.
"Now we're even," Werth said.
"I can't have you too comfortable," Storen yelled back.
The practice continued, Werth whiffing at one pitch and fisting a soft line drive to center. When it ended, as the players walked off, Werth told Storen, "I don't know if I would have respected you if you didn't throw that first one in on me."
When Werth and Storen met earlier spring, the at-bat from September, naturally, was the first topic that came up. Werth surprised Storen when he asked him, "Why'd you throw a fastball there?"
"It was interesting to hear his perspective on it," Storen said. "I had played it out in my head what he was looking for. I thought I could get a fastball by him there. I was telling him that our scouting reports were a little bit on what he likes to do late in the count.
"It actually ended up giving me more confidence in my slider. He was telling me, 'You should have just thrown a slider.' Instead I just tried to pump one past him."
On Tuesday, Storen pumped one on him. Werth told Storen that he had gained respect for him by throwing the brushback pitch. Storen had gotten that and more out of their encounter.
"That's part of the game," Storen said. "That's part of the fun. You get to play with these kind of guys. In all seriousness, that's a big learning for me. You get a guy like that that's a big-time hitter, to know what he's looking for late in the game, that's all part of that learning process."
| February 23, 2011; 2:06 PM ET
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