Mar 7, 2012, 5:30 PM EDT
File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The Nats host the Cardinals today at Space Coast Stadium.
It's still early — the Nationals have played only five of 34 total exhibition games this spring — but Ian Desmond's struggles both at the plate and in the field have not gone unnoticed. The third-year shortstop enters today 0-for-9 with three strikeouts and three errors in three games played, and Davey Johnson has a theory for shortstop's struggles.
"He's so driven," the manager said after yesterday's game against the Braves. "A lot like [Danny Espinosa], they're very driven. They try to overachieve. He sometimes, I think, might take his at-bats to the field. Especially down here. You're concentrating on getting your timing. But I thought he swung the bat better today. I'm not that concerned with it right now."
Desmond is back in the lineup today, facing top Cardinals pitching prospect Shelby Miller. He's one of the only regulars starting this game, though Adam LaRoche got at-bats this morning in a minor-league intrasquad game and is now slated to make his Grapefruit League debut Saturday.
I'm no longer with the team down in Florida. Per CSNwashington.com's coverage plan, I've returned home for a little while. I'll head back down there March 20 to cover the final portion of camp. So no in-game updates for the time being, but please continue the discussion as always…
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS vs. WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Gametime: 1:05 p.m.
Weather: Partly cloudy, 75 degrees, Wind 20 LF to RF
SS Ian Desmond
2B Steve Lombardozzi
CF Rick Ankiel
1B Chad Tracy
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
OCT. 7: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
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.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- 5 questions facing the Nationals in the postseason
- Nats finding ways to stay sharp (VIDEO)
- Games 1 and 2 at Nationals Park will be matinees
- Revisiting Opening Day predictions on the Nats
- Zimmermann named NL Player of the Week for 2nd time this year
- Nats' plan to stay fresh before Game 1 of the NLDS
- Denard Span sets Nats hits record to add to special day
- Zimmermann earns no-hitter through team effort (VIDEO)
- Perfect storm for Zimmermann to make magic
- Nats' Ramos shares moment in Zimmermann's no-hitter