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Jayson Werth on trailing the Mets: ‘It’s easier to chase than to be chased’

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Jayson Werth suggests that trailing the New York Mets in the NL East standings as opposed to Washington Nationals leading the division puts the team in an arguably advantageous position, as being the pursued is harder than being the ones in pursuit.

“I don’t mind being in stalking position,” Werth said. “When you make the run at it down the stretch, it’s easier to chase than to be chased. You know? I like these guys. We’re good. You see these teams having internal problems and stuff, that’s not us. We’re good.”

A three-game sweep by the Mets earlier this month got them within sniffing distance of the Nationals, who seemingly had a stranglehold on the division for most of the season. The Mets’ continued winning ways (winners of eight of 10) and how the Nationals have faltered (losers of six of 10) have allowed New York to open up a 2.5-game lead.

Even as the Nationals allowed the Mets to overtake them in the NL East last week, Werth insisted that the Nationals still controlled their own fate.

“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 last Tuesday.“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.”

Between the comments made over the past week-plus, it’s clear that Werth will remain defiant in the face of the belief that the Mets are now the favorites to win the division. But what the Nationals need out of Werth instead of his thoughts is to begin producing at the plate. The outfielder has struggled since returning to the lineup on July 28 after being out since mid-May due to a broken wrist. In August, Werth is batting .175 in 36 at-bats with one home run and six RBI after hitting .214 in the four games he played in July.

[H/T Hardball Talk]