The endless string of opinions and predictions after Jayson Werth departed from Philadelphia last December were finally given some answers Tuesday night. In the first meeting between the Phillies and their former right fielder, Werth and his Washington Nationals got the upper hand and bested the first place Phils, 7-4. 

Werth, who had been struggling so far this season, went 2-3 and sent one over the left field fence off Joe Blanton in the fifth. I’m sure it was a tidbit of satisfaction for Werth, who was met with a mix of boos and cheers from the Philly fans who made the trek down to D.C.

The Nats had slid Werth from second to third in the line-up to replace the injured Ryan Zimmerman and it paid immediate dividends. He looked more patient at the plate in Tuesday night’s game than he had at any time in the young season. 

Joe Blanton, the “forgotten man” in the Phillies’ starting rotation, was shaky for the second straight start, coughing up five runs in six innings of work. Joe was fine through three innings, but he ran into trouble in the fourth, giving up hits to Jerry Hairston and Wilson Ramos. This allowed the Nationals to grab the lead, and they held on in the later innings to secure the victory. 

No one is hitting the panic button because of Blanton’s struggles just yet. After all, he has the least amount of pressure on him. The fan base in Philly are so focused on the top four, Blanton can fly under the radar for now. However, if Big Joe does not produce a quality start soon, the boo birds will be calling for Kyle Kendrick before you know it. 

Ryan Howard snagged his third home run of the season, but the Phils offense never found a rhythm, despite out-hitting Washington 10 hits to nine. Shane Victorino’s five game hitting streak also came to an end tonight. 

Roy Halladay will look to stop the bleeding tomorrow night, as he faces lefty John Lannan. Werth’s knowledge of the Phils gave him the edge tonight, we’ll see if Doc has Jayson’s number Wednesday night. 

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