One, Jayson Werth sees a lot of pitches. This season, only three hitters in the major leagues saw more pitches per plate appearance than Jayson Werth.
Two, a good major-league hitter can hit a bullet if it's straight.
Thursday evening in Washington, D.C., the Nationals beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 when Werth led off the bottom of the ninth and drove the 13th pitch he saw -- 95 miles an hour, but straight as a string -- over the left-field wall. And so the Nationals lived to fight another day; to be specific, Friday, when the Nationals will host the Cardinals in a decisive Game 5.
Washington got on the scoreboard first, when Adam LaRoche homered off Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse in the bottom of the second inning. In the top of the third, though, the Cardinals even the score with an unearned run against Ross Detwiler. With Pete Kozma on second base, Nats shortstop Ian Desmond fumbled a grounder, and a moment later Kozma scored on Carlos Beltran's sacrifice fly.
That made it 1-1, and that's where it stayed until the ninth, when Lance Lynn threw his fateful fastball to Werth. In between, though, there was some sterling pitching from Lohse and, on the other side, a trio of Washington relievers.