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News » Phillies Notes: Anatomy of Jayson Werth' big theft

Phillies Notes: Anatomy of Jayson Werth' big theft

Phillies Notes: Anatomy of Jayson Werth' big theft
Jayson Werth's steal of home in the seventh inning Tuesday night was not only an astute play, but also a unique one. Runners who swipe home usually do so because of the pitcher's negligence, but Werth essentially stole the base off catcher Russell Martin .

After Werth singled, the Phillies rightfielder stole second and third. Arriving at that base, he noticed that Martin was remaining in a crouching position between pitches and not looking at the runner. With two strikes on Pedro Feliz, Werth dashed home.

The play, and other singular baserunning strategies utilized by the team, are primarily a result of first base coach Davey Lopes' influence, said Werth and manager Charlie Manuel .

Entering last night, the Phillies had stolen 18 bases this season, ranking 10th in the National League. But in a more important statistical category, stolen base percentage, they were second, successful in 78 percent of their attempts.

"He doesn't get enough credit for what he does here," Werth said.

"We run on different counts," said Manuel, who added that Lopes' time playing for the Dodgers under coach Maury Wills, a legendary base-stealer, was a formative experience in Lopes' baserunning education.

"Like, we'll run on 3-1, 3-0 sometimes," Manuel said. "Before as a manager, I never ran on those counts. . . . I put my trust in him, and he's shown me how good he can be, and I believe in him."

Also, Manuel said that the Phils rarely hit-and-run per se; rather, their baserunners, particularly Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Werth, are aggressive enough to make the steal itself a priority, regardless of what the batter is doing.

"We're more or less playing run-and-hit, because those guys are pretty much always looking to steal the base," he said.

Taschner could stay When J.C. Romero returns from his 50-game drug-related suspension on June 3, the Phillies will have a bullpen crowded with lefties: Romero, Scott Eyre, Jack Taschner and J.A. Happ. Taschner, acquired late in spring training, has the shortest tenure. He allowed 14 hits and 10 walks in his first 14 innings this season and would appear to be the most likely candidate for demotion.

But general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said yesterday that Taschner had a chance to remain with the team. "Under the circumstances, he's done OK," Amaro said. "He's been flipped and had to do different roles that he isn't used to. Because our starters haven't pitched deep into games sometimes, we've had to push some relievers into roles that they're not necessarily able to do. . . . [Taschner] could stay."

Romero is scheduled to start a rehab assignment on Monday, although the location has not been determined.

Happ will start Happ pitched two-thirds of an inning in relief last night, but Manuel said after the game that the lefthander would start Saturday in Washington. The Phillies will play a 1:05 p.m. game that was rescheduled from an April 15 rainout, in addition to the game at 7:05 p.m. Brett Myers also will pitch in the day-night doubleheader.

Park OK after cramp According to Manuel, pitcher Chan Ho Park experienced a cramp in his calf during Tuesday's win, but he pitched through it and does not expect to be hampered going forward.

Phils are UFC fans When Victorino heard that mixed martial arts star Kenny Florian would throw out the first pitch before last night's game, he jumped up from his locker and ran toward Werth in the doorway.

"Dude, did you hear that Florian is here?" he said, prompting an excited response from his typically deadpan teammate. Victorino, Werth, Scott Eyre and Chris Coste are fans of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which will make its Philadelphia debut Aug. 8 when Florian fights Victorino's fellow Hawaiian B.J. Penn at the Wachovia Center.

Although the violent sport has provoked controversy, Victorino, who is friends with UFC president Dana White, respects the fighters. "It's a sport just like Baseball is," he said. "They're great athletes and there's a lot of technique."

Torre to coach NL stars Manuel asked Los Angeles manager Joe Torre yesterday to serve as a coach for the All-Star Game, which takes place July 14 in St. Louis, and Torre accepted.

Contact staff writer Andy Martino at 215-854-4874 or

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 14, 2009

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