CHICAGO -- Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth is showing signs of improvement at the plate.
Werth hit his 14th homer in Wednesday's 4-2 loss to the Cubs and enters Thursday's series finale 15-for-49 [.306] in his last 13 games.
Manager Davey Johnson said that Werth is feeling more comfortable, and it helps that the hitters around him are showing signs of life offensively as well.
"Since some other guys are starting to hit, I think it takes pressure off of [Werth]," Johnson said. "Sometimes, coming to a new ballclub, you put too much on your shoulders. I think he did that coming over here early and kind of got himself messed up a little bit, trying to do too much. He is looking better all the time. He could bust out at anytime."
Before the All-Star break, Werth was having a season he would like to forget, hitting .215 with 10 home runs and 31 RBIs. Werth never made excuses as to why he wasn't producing, and although he wasn't productive, general manager Mike Rizzo said Werth brought a winning attitude to the team.
"He has been a huge factor in whatever success we have had this season -- with the attitude that he brings to the clubhouse, the work ethic that he brings to the field, the way he prepares for the game and the way that he feels when he fails," Rizzo said. "He has taught this team how to win. He taught us how to win games late, he taught us how to handle losing streaks. He taught us how to ride the winning streaks. His leadership has been great. He is a good all-around player.
"And I think the way he conducts himself is really a huge factor in that success we have had this year."