Jun 5, 2010, 4:18 AM EDT
Photo by Rachel Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
A big crowd was treated to a big win from the home team.
For a team that has struggled to come through with clutch hits most of this season, the sight of a rookie at the plate in a key, seventh-inning spot tonight shouldn't have been comforting.
The Nationals, though, have every reason to feel comfortable with Ian Desmond in that situation right now. Forget that he's a rookie. Forget that he's had his ups and downs throughout the season's first two months. Right now, there's no one the club would rather have at the plate in key spots than the 24-year-old.
Even when he nearly botches his opportunity.
When Desmond stood outside the batter's box in the bottom of the seventh tonight — runners on first and second, no one out in a tie game — he wasn't surprised to see Pat Listach give him the bunt sign. Even though he really wanted to swing away.
"In a competitive way, yeah," he said. "When I go up to the plate, I want to drive in every run I can. But when the bunt sign comes on, I'm gonna bunt. I'm not mad they gave me the bunt sign. I think I'm a good bunter, and I think it's an asset I have that can help the team."
Desmond, of course, failed to get the bunt down. He fell behind in the count, and suddenly he was free to swing away.
"I hate to say that I give more focus to those at-bats," he said. "But after I missed the bunt, I kind of told myself, 'Hey, we've got to really do something here. Let's go. Let's put something hard in play up theRead more »
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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