Struggling Desmond gets 5th day off

by Jacob Emert

WASHINGTON – For six games in late July, it seemed as if Ian Desmond had finally broken through his season of struggles.

In 19 at-bats, Desmond knocked 10 hits — four for home runs — while striking out five times. Since, his numbers have regressed back. He’s 5-for-35 with zero home runs and 17 strikeouts since July 26.

On Wednesday, in the 106th game of the year, Desmond was left out of manager Matt Williams’ lineup for just the fifth time.

“It’s a day off for Desi,” Williams said. “He doesn’t get many of them. So, it gives Danny (Espinosa) an opportunity to get back in the lineup. As we’ve spoken about for the past few days anyway, we have to get him in there.”

Espinosa has been a large portion of this team’s success, filling in with significant production at several positions throughout the season.

Williams didn’t give reason to believe that Desmond will be out of the lineup for more than a day, and when he does return the key for his success is clear.

“For him, anytime he has success, he’s swinging at strikes,” Desmond said. “If he’s not swinging at strikes, then he or anybody else doesn’t have a whole lot of success. Again, he’s played just about every day, and at certain points during the season we’re going to want to give him some time off and today’s an opportunity to do that.”

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