Providing an encore for his family, Werth added another home run and three RBIs to an already impressive weekend, and paced Philadelphia's series-evening 5-3 win over the Cubs at Wrigley on Sunday. In splitting a four-game set against a team that is 51-21 at home, the Phillies head to Washington with an inspirational start to a 10-game road trip that ends in New York next weekend.
"I had my family in town, everybody was here," Werth said. "More importantly, these were just big games. I pride myself in playing in big games; I always have. Playing every day has been good for me. It's good spot, a good club and good to be loved."
The Phillies are loving their right fielder, who batted .538 (7-for-13) with three homers and seven RBIs in the series. Considering how the series began, with two blown late-inning leads to the team with the best record in the National League, Philadelphia will take a split.
Werth's strong offensive showing aside, the Phillies also received a feisty pitching effort from ageless Jamie Moyer. The 45-year-old shook off a clunker against the Mets and survived 5 1/3 innings in his usual damage-limiting ways.
When Moyer faltered in the sixth, Chad Durbin, J.C. Romero and Ryan Madson navigated the crucial innings, then gave the game to Brad Lidge.
"The Fireman," Jimmy Rollins said of Lidge. "Yeah, he's been pretty good."
With Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano scratched due to a tired arm, the Phils drew lefty Sean Marshall and plated three first-inning runs. Ryan Howard singled in Chase Utley with the first run and Shane Victorino followed with a single, and both scored on Werth's double.
Werth homered off Marshall in the fifth, extending his Major League-leading home run total against lefties to 15. The win kept the Phils one game behind the Mets in the NL East.
Allowing themselves to dream, perhaps this series showed the Phillies that they can play with the elite Cubs. The Phils led in all four games, and took two, taking the season series, four games to three.
"We can play with anybody," Rollins said. "There's no doubt about that. It's a matter of making fewer mistakes at times and scoring when you have an opportunity. We weren't lacking confidence coming in. It wasn't like we were unsure of ourselves or this was a make-or-break series."
"Are they good? Yeah," added manager Charlie Manuel. "They've got big arms on their pitching staff, rotation and bullpen, but at same time, if you watch how we played, we can play right there with them. [The NL Championship Series] might be a hell of a series between us."
Manuel won't get ahead of himself. He knows his team still must overtake the Mets in the division, then take it from there. He also knows that the Cubs are playing with a big division lead. If they were to advance to the NLCS, reliever Scott Eyre, who played for both teams this season, thinks this series should count.
"We'll take that," Eyre said. "It means we'd win the series four games to three."