The Washington Nationals' hatred for the Phillies is coming in waves.
After triggering a lopsided Washington win over the Phillies with a three-run home run Saturday at Nationals Park, outfielder Jayson Werth directed his venom toward his former team's fans Monday because of the way they reacted when he suffered a broken wrist in Sunday night's series finale.
"After walking off the field feeling nauseous knowing my wrist was broke and hearing Philly fans yelling, 'You deserve it' and 'That's what you get,' I am motivated to get back quickly and see to it personally those people never walk down Broad Street in celebration again," Werth wrote in an e-mail response to a question from the Washington Post.
Werth suffered the gruesome injury trying to catch a sixth-inning line drive off Placido Polanco's bat, and he underwent surgery Monday at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. The injury could sideline him for 10 to 12 weeks.
"I think having Werth out of the lineup is going to hurt them," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "He's a high-on-base-percentage guy, even though he's hitting .260 or something like that. He walks, he gets on, he's capable of stealing bases, and he has a good arm. He's a tool player."
There's no doubt a rivalry is developing between the Phillies and Nationals, but closer Jonathan Papelbon doesn't seem too impressed, and that is understandable. He spent the first seven years of his career with a firsthand view of the rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.
When asked about the Nats-Phillies rivalry, he had to check with nearby teammate Jimmy Rollins.
"Jimmy, is that a rivalry?" Papelbon said. "I don't know, man, you're asking the wrong dude."
"Anytime we take the field, that's a rivalry," Rollins replied.
Yes, but Nats-Phillies can't compare to Yanks-Red Sox.
"Not really, man," Papelbon said.
He was asked to compare the rivalries on a scale of 1 to 10.
"I don't know," he said. "I ain't got no scale."
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Ryan Howard started hitting Monday as he continued his rehabilitation in Clearwater, Fla.
"He's working there with Steve Henderson," Amaro said, referring to the roving minor-league instructor. "I haven't heard any reports. Hopefully, it went well. No news is good news as far as I'm concerned. That's the first time he has hit since spring training."
Second baseman Chase Utley also will head to Clearwater soon, but there is no set departure date. Utley worked out with the team at Citizens Bank Park before Monday's game against the New York Mets.
"When he feels comfortable enough to go to Clearwater, then we'll send him to Clearwater," Amaro said. "I don't know how long it's going to take for him to be there. Sooner rather than later, I hope."
First baseman Jim Thome (back) has started running on the treadmill, Amaro said.
"I'm not sure when he's going to start hitting," Amaro said. "One of the things they're working on is trying to make sure his back is symmetrical. It's something we'll have to deal with. He's an older player."
Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said lefthander Cliff Lee would be limited to 75 or 80 pitches when he returns from an oblique injury Wednesday night against the Mets.
Rightfielder Hunter Pence said he changed his introductory music to "Danger Zone," a Kenny Loggins song from the Top Gun soundtrack Monday night because his brother and sister-in-law just had a baby boy they named Maverick - the nickname of Tom Cruise's character in the film. His brother's other boys are Striker and Ace. The only girl is named Hayley-Jane.