Sportress of Blogitude

Jayson Werth: NL East ‘our division to lose’ despite surging Mets


Jayson Werth insisted that despite the Washington Nationals finding themselves one game behind the New York Mets after owning the division for the majority of the season, they remain the team to beat in the National League East.

“I think it’s a matter of time really. We’re a great second-half team. … Half our team has been hurt all year,” Werth said on Tuesday, via The Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes. “That’s the reality of it. When we all get back, we’re right there, in first place. We’re a game out now. But I think going forward we can get all back healthy and get rolling and it’s our division to lose.”

The Nationals are seeing their early season struggles return, going 11-13 in July. They have opened August on a 1-3 slide, with a three-game sweep at the hands of the Mets the past weekend contributing to the team’s general malaise.

The Mets, meanwhile, played at a 13-12 clip in July, are on a five-game winning streak and have started August red-hot, going 4-0 following some savvy trade deadline moves highlighted by the acquisition of Yoenis Cespedes.

Still, Werth’s defiance echoes the cockiness demonstrated by teammate Bryce Harper, who after the Mets made their presence known over the weekend, made some comments that caused a stir.

“I don’t give a crap what the Mets are doing. Or Dodgers or Giants or Texas or anybody,” Harper said after Washington’s loss to Arizona on Monday. “I know what kind of team we are.”

It is worth noting, though, that Harper did praise the Mets in the immediate aftermath of the three-game sweep, calling the rivals, “a great team.”

Still, it’s encouraging to see how both players remain firm believers in their squad. Overconfidence, however, can be a dangerous thing. How the Nationals respond in the coming weeks after allowing the Mets back into the race obviously will define how the team will be viewed heading into the home stretch of the season. Although if the Mets continue to crank out wins at a torrid pace will have a lot to do with how things shake out in the suddenly tight National League East.

(image via The Washington Post)