Apr 29, 2011, 4:08 AM EDT
Ian Desmond is congratulated after homering in the fifth inning.
Ian Desmond and Livan Hernandez are, in many ways, polar opposites on the baseball diamond. Desmond is all energy, a second-year shortstop who acknowledges he’s likely to vacillate between highs and lows over the course of a season, or even a game. Hernandez is the laid-back veteran pitcher, never flustered by anything, a sage right-hander who simply tries to maintain a level of consistency every fifth day.
Each, though, knows who he is and doesn’t try to be somebody else. And when they stick to that philosophy and put it all together, as they did tonight during the Nationals’ 4-3 victory over the Mets, they are invaluable to this ballclub.
In Desmond’s case, that meant returning from a two-day trip to Sarasota, Fla., to witness the birth of his first child and then homering and tripling to deep left-center. In Hernandez’s case, that meant shrugging off this week’s revelation that he’s been linked to a federal money laundering case and authoring a prototypical Livo gem on the mound.
Those two efforts, combined with a fantastic 3-2 slider from closer Drew Storen to ex-teammate Willie Harris with the game on the line in the ninth, helped the Nationals snap a three-game losing streak. And that helped both Desmond and Hernandez regain a sense of normalcy after an eventful few days.
“It was nice to be back,” Desmond said. “Watching the games the last couple days, it seemed like the team needed a little spark. I came in here today hoping to be able to do that. I did, and it felt really good.”
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