May 1, 2011, 1:45 AM EDT
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Ian Desmond reached second on an error and scored the Nats’ only run today.
The gut punch came 75 minutes before first pitch at Nationals Park, when the home clubhouse doors closed for a brief meeting in which the entire team was informed Ryan Zimmerman will have surgery Tuesday to repair a torn abdominal muscle.
The knockout blow came four hours later when the Nationals trudged off the field following a 2-1 loss to the Giants that was as inexplicable as any they had experienced in a long time. Despite putting 14 men on base — 12 via walk or hit batter — their moribund lineup could not push more than one run across the plate.
Which led to a stark realization back in that clubhouse at the end of a demoralizing Saturday afternoon: Somehow, this team that seems to get a quality pitching performance every time it takes the field has to figure out some way to increase its offensive production, with the “Face of the Franchise” sidelined for at least another six weeks.
“It’s hard to lose your best player, regardless,” first baseman Adam LaRoche said. “It’s great having him around now, but it’s killing him not to be out there. And it hurts. But there’s nothing we can do about it. The best thing we can do is wish him the best and hope he recovers sooner than expected and go on and try to win some games.”
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