September 20 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“The ball was hit to the deepest part of Citizens Bank Park, but it just kept going and going. Ryan Howard, standing near second base, watched Washington centerfielder Jason Maxwell drift back into the corner, where a sign on the green wall marks 409 feet from home plate.
“If you would have asked me where I thought it was going when I hit it,” Jayson Werth said on Sunday, “it was probably about right there. Just over the fence.”
Werth touched first base and saw the ball bounce beyond the railing. Having authored an incredible Phillies comeback win, Werth raised his right fist to the sky.
Phillies 7, Nationals 6. And now, here come the Braves.
“We’re definitely in a good position,” Shane Victorino said.
Are they ever. Atlanta had already won as the Phillies came to bat in the ninth, trailing by three runs. Save a rally, the Phillies’ lead in the National League East would be two games when the Braves arrived Monday. Instead, it remains three and the Phillies are assured at least a tie of first when the critical series ends Wednesday. And a tie will only happen if Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt each lose.
On Sunday, Placido Polanco singled to begin the ninth against Washington’s rookie closer, Drew Storen. Chase Utley doubled down the left-field line. Howard scored both runners with a single to right-center. Then came Werth.
“It was a super at-bat,” Charlie Manuel said.
With a 3-1 count, Werth chased ball four, a 94-m.p.h. fastball off the corner. Storen followed with a slider, which Werth said was the key pitch. He fought it off into foul territory. The seventh pitch was a fastball, which took Werth off-guard. He fouled it off; he thought Storen would come back with another slider.
The eighth pitch, a 94-m.p.h. fastball, was deposited into the stands, just to the left of the 409 sign.
“He didn’t miss the fastball,” Howard said.
Werth tossed his helmet in the air and jumped on home plate as his teammates mobbed him. Inside the clubhouse, an ejected Victorino and some of the already-used pitchers watched. But the clubhouse TVs had a slight delay and they heard everyone scream before the ball landed on the TV coverage. Victorino stayed where he was.
“I had to see it for myself,” Victorino said.
For eight innings, the Phillies had slogged through this Sunday matinee, the final prelude to what will feel like postseason baseball in South Philadelphia. The Phils plan to hand out white rally towels Monday, just as they do in the playoffs. The Phillies and Braves have scoreboard-watched for more than two months since they last met.”
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