Desmond makes up for Saturday’s error against Phillies

Shortstop Ian Desmond made an error that hurt the Nationals in a 5-0 loss to the Phillies on Saturday.

However, Sunday was a different story as his game-tying home run helped Washington in a 5-4 victory over Philadelphia.

With the Phillies leading, 4-3, in the ninth inning, Desmond came to the plate with two outs. On a 1-2 pitch from reliever Antonio Bastardo, Desmond hit the ball over the left-field wall for his fifth home run of the season. There was Desmond showing his emotions as he rounded first base and again as he reached the dugout.

“He made adjustments,” Bastardo said. “The pitch was supposed to be for a strike. It was a little bit up in the zone, in the middle. It was supposed to be in the inside corner.”

While running the bases, Desmond was the thinking about the error he made in Saturday’s contest. In the fourth inning, the Nationals had John Mayberry Jr. picked off, but Desmond couldn’t catch an easy throw from first baseman Michael Morse, which allowed Mayberry to reach second base. Mayberry would later score on a triple by Wilson Valdez.

“Last night was a hard-night sleep for me,” Desmond said. “I told myself to come out [on Sunday] and put that behind me. I touched first base put my hand up and I was like, ‘Yes.’ That’s how you come back. That’s why you don’t give up. That’s why you have to keep on trying.”

In the last couple of days, manager Davey Johnson has had one-on-one talks with Desmond. The skipper wanted to know what Desmond was thinking at the plate. Entering Sunday’s action against Philadelphia, Desmond was hitting .228.

“I talked to him one-on-one the last couple of days. I was trying to clear his mind a little bit,” Johnson said. “You know he tries to do so much. I was just trying to simplify it. He is a very aggressive player and sometimes he is just overly aggressive. You don’t want to take him away from that.

“But he’ll chase balls out of the strike zone and try to make something happen. That’s what young guys usually do. He has learned about himself. … He was overly aggressive his first year [on defense] and he settled down. He needs to take that same thing to the plate and he knows it.”

2 Comments

Wow, I love hearing that from Desmond, it shows he really cares. Desmond is a keeper.

This comment follows Thursdays game against the Diamondbacks. Does anyone detect a pattern here. How many times and how many innings have we gotten men into scoring position with no outs or one out and failed to score. Following the games as I have every night is maddeningly frustrating. This has been going on all season long. The simple reason why the Nats are not playing .500 and above ball is their incredible ineptitude batting with men on base. The season is now three quarters of the way through, so this problem is a consistent one ascribable to their approach at the plate with men on. There can be no doubt now that this faulty approach has to laid at the feet of the hitting coach Rick Epstein. I am going to give Mike Rizzo the benefit of the doubt in that he prefers to make hiring and firing decisions after looking at a year’s body of work. OK, fine!!!! But truth be told that inept Bum Epstein should have been gone months ago!!!!

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