Nats, Werth Fleece The Madoffs

Jayson Werth went 4-5 and knocked in two runs — and the Nationals stroked thirteen hits — as the Anacostia Nine beat up on the New York Mets at Citifield 6-2 on Tuesday. This was the first regular season outing for Ross Detwiler, who pitched five complete innings and gave up just two hits.

“He probably could have given me another inning, but he didn’t have a full spring starting. It was an outstanding effort on his part,” Nats’ manager Davy Johnson said of Detwiler’s outing. The night proved to be a long one for the Mets, who entered the game unbeaten. But Washington’s first hitter, Ian Desmond, put a Dillon Gee offering into the left field seats. The Desmond dinger set the tone for the night, as Desmond, Werth and Ramos led the hitting attack.

Werth’s at bats brought a sigh of relief to the Nationals’ right fielder, who was hitting .071 coming into the game. But Werth had been having good at bats and had hit well in Spring Training, with the promise that a strong start would reverse the mediocre year he’d had in 2011. By the end of the game, he’d raised his average to .263.

Unlike their previous outing against the Mets, the Nationals were able to take advantage when they needed to, even though they left eleven men on base during the game. Ryan Zimmerman, who’s also been struggling at the plate, drove in his 500th RBI in the top of the eighth inning, when he brought in Wilson Ramos from third on a sacrifice fly.

Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: Tuesday was both a good day (a 6-2 win in New York) and a bad one for the Nationals. It appears that Michael Morse will not be starting in Washington on Thursday, as a strained right lat muscle has failed to heal. Morse was forced from the single-A Hagerstown game on Monday in the seventh inning, when he could not throw the ball into the shortstop from the outfield. The earliest he could return would be Monday . . .

The Nationals are awaiting medical tests on Drew Storen’s tweaky elbow, and the Nationals fear he may need surgery to remove bone chips . . . The injuries to Morse and Storen, and Rick Ankiel’s continued occupation of the disabled list are sure to spur a clamor for the call-up of Bryce Harper, who’s hitting the snot out of the ball in Syracuse . . .

The “New” And Not So New MASN Team: Kristina Akra is the new on-field on-air reporter for MASN, replacing Debbi Taylor. Akra reported for NESN and the Red Sox. Attractive young women reporting from the field is all the rage in baseball just now (well . . . for the last thirty years), and it seems axiomatic: if their name is “Christina” they must spell it with a “k” . . . Our only suggestion? Watching her post-game interview with Jayson Werth last night was like watching a New York brownstone interview the Empire State Building. We’re not the only ones who noticed and kudos to Nats Enquirer for a great “screen grab” . . . Get the poor girl a chair . . .

There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of information on why Akra replaced Taylor. Early word was that the reporting job was being eliminated. Akra’s appearance seems to undermine that theory. It may be that Taylor just didn’t fit (anyway, that’s what we think) — and she could be grating. Carpenter would key her from the booth — “and now let’s check in with Debbi Taylor” — and there would be a silent scream from “Natsland” . . . “noooooo . . .”

We remember, in particular, an on-air interview with Jayson Werth last year, when Taylor pressed him on Ryan Zimmerman. “So, how great is Ryan Zimmerman?” And then she asked him again. Asking once is fine, but twice? Viewers could see that Werth was getting irritated, even if she couldn’t (or, worse yet, maybe she could). “So just how great is Ryan?” He’d already given an answer, so he looked away and nodded. “Yeah, well, he’s great when he gets out of bed in the morning,” Werth said . . .  pretty rich, that . . .

The team of Bob Carpenter and F.P. Santangelo are back in the booth this year for MASN, and that’s more than okay with us. We flipped between the Nats’ game and the St. Louis-Cincinnati match-up, and noted that the Cardinals’ duo of sleepy and droopy were doing their we-don’t-have-much-to-say routine . . . during a random switch-over we counted four pitches before a word was uttered: “that’s three and oh on Votto . . .” Hello? Anyone there?

Like any on-air duo, it takes some time to get used to the two, and Santangelo’s self-effacing humor is winsomely attractive. They know the game, they call it well, they’re “homers” (we approve) and their humor has some redeeming qualities. At the end of last year, NatsGM did an unofficial poll of fans on whether the two should return, and the vote was overwhelmingly in favor . . .

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