"I haven't talked to him," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said one day after Werth got picked off second by Astros catcher Humberto Quintero after an intentional walk was issued to Carlos Ruiz. "More than likely, I will say something, but it's something that speaks for itself. You are going to mistakes. That's going to happen. You have to play the game the right way."
As it turns out, the pickoff was the product of a perfect storm of coincidences that worked against the Phils' right fielder. To that end, it should come as little surprise that Astros pitcher Brett Myers was right in the middle of the bizarre play.
"I could tell when the play developed and Myers turned that he had opened up a lane," Manuel said Tuesday. "I knew what was coming. He was going to throw to second because the guy stayed there to cover."
But it wasn't that Myers made room for the throw down to second that stands out. Since Myers was involved, it came as little surprise that before Myers threw ball four, he turned and wagged his tongue at Werth on second. Kind of silly, but in a way, it worked.
"That's what put me on my heels," Werth said. "But the big reason it happened was, while I still had a field of vision, Brett was in my direct line of the catcher and [Quintero] threw the ball. It was Brett, [Quintero] and [Ruiz], all in the same periphery. So I didn't see anything. I did remember saying, 'What's that?' and see the ball at the pitcher's mound. I was dead at that point.
"The whole time, I was thinking, 'After he threw the first pitch, if he doesn't pay attention here, I could probably steal third.' I'm still thinking like that before that [fourth] pitch, then he looks at me and ... I was smiling as the ball was on its way. So between that and the little smokescreen where I got shielded on -- and that was the main reason -- it was terrible."