Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Desmond Doing The Little Things
Besides Bryce Harper, the only other Nationals’ player to score two runs last night was Ian Desmond. Desmond went 3-for-4 with two doubles in the 8-2 win. While the Nats’ shortstop had a good night at the plate, he has done a good job of doing the small things each of the last two games.
If you flashback to Friday night, Desmond was able to get a key sacrifice bunt down with two strikes that moved the runner over to third base. Then, last night, Desmond made a good play in the field in the first inning to take a hit away from Maybin and keep the Braves off the scoreboard.
One inning later, Desmond hit a pop up to center on a 2-2 pitch that ended up falling into center field for a leadoff double. He would go to third on a Ramos groundout and then come around to score on a wild pitch by Miller. Then, in the fourth, he took a 0-2 cutter and hit it into center for a base hit.
Finally, four innings later, Desmond stayed aggressive on a 2-0 pitch from Ryan Kelly and hit a double to left field. When you look at the team’s numbers since the All-Star break, Desmond has had 26 runs scored, which is second on the team behind Bryce Harper’s 41. His 26 RBI’s are tied for second on the team with Michael Taylor (Ryan Zimmerman leads with 39).
However, could the correlation with Desmond’s good hitting in the second half (.287/.348/.520) be because his defense has improved? Out of the 23 errors he has this season, only three of them have come in the second half of the year. As the season winds down, Desmond has become one of the team’s key run scorers and has rebounded from a miserable first half of the season.