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Desmond erases doubts with hot start

Apr 23, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Ian Desmond is hitting .294 with six extra-base hits so far this season.

There are any number of impressive and surprising aspects to the Nationals' red-hot start to the season. A major league best 2.34 ERA and 144 strikeouts. A National League best 12 wins. Six one-run victories. Five consecutive series wins.

And then there's Ian Desmond, whose strong start might be among the most pleasant developments for the Nationals. Chided by many last season when he got off to a sluggish start, the young shortstop is enjoying the good vibes and positive press that comes with the best opening two weeks of his career.

"What a difference a year makes," he said. "Last year, this time of the year, it was a huge struggle. I had eight errors. I was hitting about .200. We weren't really winning. This year, it's a new year. It's a fresh start, which is nice. Obviously, this is best start I've had in the big leagues. I'm feeling good about it."

Desmond has every right to feel good about it, as do his Nationals teammates and coaches. Entrusted with the leadoff spot despite his atypical hitting approach for that job, he's hitting .294 with sixRead more »

298 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. FS=Faraz Shaikh - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    I understand that everyone here absolutely loves Ramos (I do too), but if Flores keeps outperforming Wilson, there is no reason to trade Jesus instead of Ramos.About keeping Morse around, I have said it before that as much as we like to see everyone stick around, that will most likely not happen. It is hard to develop talent (or trade for it) and harder to retain it all. As previously mentioned, Morse might become a better fit for AL teams than NL.

  2. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Faraz has it exactly right–I can change it, and it's still the same account, which means Mark knows who's posting. And he's always had a pretty good idea who the anonymous/URL posters were, if he had the time and inclination to check where they were coming from. Which is way too boring for him to bother with, I would hope.Anyhow, FWIW, it's overdue, IMHO.

  3. Fear and Ignorance - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. MicheleS - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    Okay. for some reason, it's not letting me post from my phone. Hmmm.. could be stuck out in space somewhere…

  5. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    Section 222…… I'll just put my current location in the body of the post.

  6. NatsLady - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    So torn. I want the Mets to lose because they are in our division and I'd like to see Lincecum break out of his funk, but I don't want Miss Iowa to lose.

  7. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    No doubt there'll be a learning period for most of us, getting used to the new requirements, MicheleS. We'll get used to it. Still the best bar in town.

  8. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    NatsLady, given the way the Mets and Giants have played lately, anything can happen.

  9. MicheleS - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Supposedly on MLB Network on the Rundown and on MLB tonight they are going to do something on the Nats.

  10. jcj5y - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Looks like CMW pitched 3 innings in extended spring training this afternoon. No runs, 3 Ks, 51 pitches.Does anyone else think the Nats are better off with Detwiler?

  11. smurff - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Nats Lady, I don't get the Miss Iowa thing…

  12. peric - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Nats Lady, I don't get the Miss Iowa thing…Google Miguel Batista Nationals pitcher and Miss Iowa. Lots of stuff will appear … ;)

  13. Sunderland - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Faraz said something like "I understand that everyone here absolutely loves Ramos (I do too), but if Flores keeps outperforming Wilson, there is no reason to trade Jesus instead of Ramos."There is a reason. Ramos is both cost controlled, and not guaranteed, for the next 4 seasons, through 2016. Flores is cost controlled and non guaranteed for only one more season. Deciding to count on Flores long term means writing him a guaranteed contract for either 3 or 4 years. Ramos gives you more flexibility, less risk.Of course, this may also be why Ramos might fetch more in a trade. But there are definite advantages to keeping Ramos (assuming similar performance).

  14. smurff - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    OK, I get it now… :-)

  15. NatsLady - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Smurff, Strasburg was scheduled to pitch, and there was a HUGE crowd assembled, and at the very last second he was scratched and Miguel Batista started and pitched the game–very well.But no one cared because, as he said, "They came to see Miss Universe and they got Miss Iowa." The actual Miss Iowa came to hear of it, and he apologized, sent flowers and brought her East to meet her.(I was at that game, it was very strange. It was a beautiful evening and people are just wandering aimlessly around the concourse trying to figure out where is Strasburg while Batista is pitching great.)

  16. FS=Faraz Shaikh - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Disturbing that Batista is throwing faster than Timmy?

  17. skidge - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    One last test (sorry), then I'm giving up.skidge

  18. Traveler8 - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    As I recall Batista won the game 3-1, in a performance that Strasburg would have been proud to claim. Batista explained that he was not offended with the booing when his name was announced because the crowd was expecting Miss Universe but got Miss Iowa, "but still a very pretty girl". The real Miss Iowa, on being informed of the whole affair, announced that she thought it was a hoot, and she did a great job of throwing out the first pitch a week or so later.

  19. peric - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Does anyone else think the Nats are better off with Detwiler?The Nats KNOW they are. If he keeps up performing consistently.However, Strasburg does get shutdown sometime in August. Wang is almost tailor-made to step in and pitch for that abbreviated time into October given the number of years since he last pitched and the nature of his injury. I'm not sure how they will get those two things to match on both sides of the equal sign however …

  20. natsfan1a - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    All right, let's see if this new-fangled account thingy works. On a baseball note (ex-Nats related), watched the Pudge presser on MLB Network earlier. He has a beautiful family and had a quite a career. That is all.

  21. baseballswami - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    Test

  22. bowdenball - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    jcj5y-I think the Nats are better off with Detwiler. Hopefully the Nats will realize it too. Even at his best, Wang was no better than Detwiler has been this year, and there's NO reason to assume that Wang will be at his best now that he's 32 and his best years were 5 years ago.Hopefully they'll either go to a 6 man rotation or let Wang replace Gorzelanny as the long man out of the pen. However I fear that they'll move Detwiler to the pen instead, which would be a shame. Wang is a 1.30 WHIP pitcher at best; people should be smart enough to realize that the 2012 Nats are not the 2007 Yankees. They can't start a guy who puts the ball in play a lot and keeps it in the yard but can't strike guys out and just assume they'll outslug the opponent.

  23. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    As I recall, she said she'd challenge him: she'd pitch if he could walk a catwalk in high heels and a swim suit.

  24. MicheleS - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    Testing from web version on phone

  25. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    And I, too, will go with Detwiler for now, but it's a false choice, since unlike last season, they do not have to bring Wang up just yet. They have a month or so. Who knows what might happen in the next month?

  26. SaintsFanatic342 - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    Mark Zuckerman said… feel free to thank Peric and anyone else who has abused the anonymous function over here for months. April 23, 2012 2:42 PM _____________________________Thanks Peric

  27. FS=Faraz Shaikh - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    Sunderland, sound arguments. Makes sense but in terms of performance, Jesus can't be ignored. He was once considered future of this franchise for good reason.Anyways you know a team seriously needs offense when Nate Schierholtz (very good OF arm btw) is batting fifth in your lineup. Never understood why SF let Beltran walk.

  28. saintsfanatic342 - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    I signed in using my AOL account which is SaintsFanatic342@aol.com How do I change that to Gonat?

  29. MicheleS - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    Skidge.. it worked.Also for those of you posting from phone and having trouble. I tried it from the Web Version on my phone and it worked.Onto baseball matters:Erik excellent post on the roster. I have to agree with Sunderland on Morse. As much as I would hate for him to leave, he should test free agency. He only has one big payday left.On Det vs CMW. Wow, now that is a good debate. If Det keeps it up, then he should be our #4 next year. I think CMW is not equipped to be a long man out of the bullpen. Det can go into the BP until Stras is shut down.For all the hand wringing by the national media about Stras's innings limit, i am not that worried. We have some depth in the pitching area and I would be happy with Det or CMW in the September/October (hopefully late October)

  30. Andrew L. - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    Test

  31. Candide - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    Traveler8 said…The real Miss Iowa, on being informed of the whole affair, announced that she thought it was a hoot, and she did a great job of throwing out the first pitch a week or so later.And Batista gave her a dozen roses before the game.Also during that game, in the Presidents' Race, Teddy came charging out of the gate, opened a huge lead over the rest of the Rushmores. At the right field foul pole, he was a hundred feet or so ahead of the rest of the pack. I was scremaing, "He can't possibly lose!" knowing full well he couldn't possibly win.He made the turn at the foul pole, came charging down the foul line, still 'way ahead of the pack, when he suddenly stopped dead, apparently to have a conversation with someone in the stands.It was Miss Iowa. And she gave poor smitten Teddy one of the Batista roses, while the rest of the presidents roared on past.It was sweet.

  32. Andrew L. - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    This is all nice to have no more Anonymous. Makes it easier.

  33. MicheleS - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    Gonat, you may have to edit your AOL profile. That is how you can do it in google.

  34. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    and Gonat, go delete that. You don't want your email address out there for the world to see. And they can see it.

  35. NatsLady - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Timmy looks tired, and I missed the play at the plate.

  36. saintsfanatic342 - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    Let's try this new name since Gonat was taken

  37. NatsLady - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    Sports Illustrated has the Nats at No. 6. They claim that by WAR the Nats should be at 9-7. Also compliments on the pitching. (Don't know how they are calculating WAR, maybe someone can look it up.)Sports Illustrated rankings April 23http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/baseball/mlb/04/23/mlb.power.rankings/index.html

  38. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    Just a quick post to commend NatsLady on her visit to the Phillies website late yesterday. I read her comments and must say she represented Nats Insiders extremely well with total professional decorum. Even the Phillie commenters were respectful and responded processionally.

  39. ehay2k - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Holy cow – over 235 posts on an off day!?! Natsjack, I can't decide if by her respectful comments on the Philthies site, Natslady did us proud or let us down! :-) As for the anon ban, it's sad in a way, but you have to realize that it's a sign of the success of this blog that there is a critical mass of loyal following of posters who will supply their names. So, congratulations Mark!

  40. MicheleS - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    NatsLady, which site were you on for the Phillies?

  41. theophilusspaniel - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    Gotta see if how this WordPress thing works.

  42. Gonat - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  43. Gonat - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    NatsLady, thanks for the new power rankings.

  44. NatsLady - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Ha, NJ, thanks. It was a challenge to be polite when they said (a) the Nats had killed Harry Kalas and (b) the Nats needed a manager who had been to the playoffs….Michele, I was on the MLB site, Phillies "wrap" of the game.

  45. MicheleS - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    MLB Network has the Nats/Davey segment up next

  46. jkmorrison - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    test

  47. MicheleS - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    Well if you can't have a game, I am glad that MLB Network supplied me with my daily glass of Koolaid!!!! The video isn't up yet on the MLB Network site.

  48. whatsanattau - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:55 PM

    Testy, testy,…

  49. whatsanattau - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    Thank you Mark.

  50. NatsNut - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    Has anyone else noticed that Ramos doesn't seem to set up a target for the pitcher with his glove? I don't watch on TV much but the few times I have, it seems like he keeps his glove turned around until the last minute. Surely there's a good reason for it.

  51. Traveler8 - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    Testing some more…

  52. MicheleS - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    NatsNut, that could be to disguise the pitch or location in case the Batter or if someone on base is trying to sneek a peak

  53. Gonat - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Nice Pudge tribute today

  54. MicheleS - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    Gonat.. got to your AOL account and delete your post from 5:17, don't want your email to be hanging out there.

  55. whatsanattau - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    testing

  56. whatsanattau - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    testing from another computer

  57. Scott from Burke - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    hi

  58. Scott from Burke - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    Two off days in a row? lame

  59. whatsanattau - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  60. Section 222 - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    Anybody see the first episiode of "The Franchise" on Showtime? Very entertaining, but boy am I glad we have Davey instead of Ozzie as our manager. What a bizarre character. Pretty cool to have this behind the scenes look at the Ozzie loves Fidel fiasco. Warning: there's lots of, shall we say, "colorful" language on the show.

  61. whatsanattau - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    Final test … I think

  62. Gonat - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    MicheleS said… Gonat.. got to your AOL account and delete your post from 5:17, don't want your email to be hanging out there. April 23, 2012 7:35 PM _______________________________MicheleS, its not giving me a "Delete" option.

  63. SonnyG10 - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    Thanks Mark. Appreciate it.

  64. Navy Nats Fan - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    Gonat, you have to be logged into the Google account you were logged into when you posted it (saintfanatic342).

  65. choc_chip_cookie - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    Also testing. But agree with Sec 3…HOW 'BOUT THEM NATS!! Glad tomorrow is not another off day.

  66. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    Couple of off days always good for the team. We kind of went all to seed in here, but it should help the pitching. And heck, it's two days we didn't feel obligated to spend four hours in the bar. It's all good.

  67. waddu eye no - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    lets see if i figured this out

  68. waddu eye no - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    i did! thanks mark. hope things go better.

  69. baseballswami - Apr 24, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    Mark – I for one appreciate your efforts to keep this site decent for everyone. I enjoy the smart baseball talk and the great humor. I am so ready for a game,though! Another 25 hours to go?

  70. Fear and Ignorance - Apr 24, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    Matsui about to sign with TB…sure gives them a lot of OF/DH on that team with Jennings/Upton/Joyce/Zobrist/Scott/Matsui.

  71. Navy Nats Fan - Apr 24, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    For those suffering withdrawal symptons on Day 2 without baseball, MASN is showing the Nats O's game from May 23rd 2010 where Josh Willingham hit the walk-off homer in the 10th. Storen's now pitching the 7th after getting a hit in his first major league at bat.

  72. whatsanattau - Apr 24, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    Tomorrow the Nats get a lefty followed by at least 3 righthanders. Nady is only hitting .125 against RH this year and .250 for his career against .290 vs. LH. If I'm reading it correctly, Bernadina has not had a single at bat against a LH this year and has not hit particularly well against anybody. Not sure if they will go strict platoon, but I would not expect Bernadina to play against LH.

  73. waddu eye no - Apr 24, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    with so many comments up, i may have missed this, but whether i'm first or not:http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=20859403&topic_id=8879212just like an insider called it earlier

  74. baseballswami - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    Navy Nats Fan — did you hear the O's announcer say that Morse is a line drive hitter who will never hit for power? It is hilarious to hear some of the things that are being said – and not that much time has really passed.

  75. Navy Nats Fan - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:10 AM

    I've been laughing both at the comments and how different some of the Nats look. I do miss Cristian Guzman. A little. He really wouldn't fit in our the team now. We had some out of shape players – Guzman, Dunn, Capps, Coffey (not then, but later). Can't think offhand of any on today's team that are in really good shape.Turn it on now – bottom of the ninth – only one more inning until the Hammer!

  76. SFNats - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:18 AM

    Thanks for the link, waddu eye no. That was definitely the only way for Pudge to do it.

  77. Navy Nats Fan - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    Ah, Doug "DFA" Slaten – but he got the win that time. And Willie Harris with a cameo in right field. Don't miss Dibble that much. 3 up 3 down in the tenth. Hammer time!

  78. Navy Nats Fan - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    And John Lannan got a no-decision on a blown save by Capps.Hah – I forgot that was the walk-off where the Os 3B Tejada kicked dirt on Willingham when he went by rounding third. Classy….Fun to see that one again.

  79. skidge - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    Really missing Nats games, glad I figured out how to post, and thanks Mark—sure seems better so far!

  80. SonnyG10 - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:02 AM

    Watched the Nats…O's classic tonight also. Sure reminded me how much I hate the mixed announcer crews. Also I can't believe I actually liked Dibble back then. He sure seems pompous now. And how about Drew Storen before he let his hair grow.

  81. Joe Seamhead - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:25 AM

    More good news. Mets lost two to the Giants, Phillies losing big to Arizona 8-1 in the 7th, the Brave losing to the Dodgers 3-1 early. The losses count just as much now as the ones in September, too! GYFNG!

  82. NatsLady - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:37 AM

    Dodgers just got another run, Livo coming in for ATL.

  83. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:46 AM

    Waddu Eye, thank you so much. Props to 1a–you must have SOME contacts!

  84. Joe Seamhead - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:54 AM

    Oops, had the phillies score wrong, they're losing 9-0 and it's now 5-1 Dodgers over Atlanta.How about Jeter going 4-5 today, raising his BA to.411? And our buddy Adam Dunn got his 14th RBI with his 4th HR.

  85. NatsLady - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:01 AM

    Boy, the Dodgers just had a 7-6-2 double play–Kemp out at home and Ethier out at first–on a single. (Not the best baserunning, you might say).

  86. Joe Seamhead - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:12 AM

    Phillies have scored five in the top of the ninth with nobody out. Now 9-5 .

  87. NatsLady - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:12 AM

    Phils just scored 5 in the top of the 9th, hope the D-backs can hold on. (Not kidding).

  88. NatsLady - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:21 AM

    OK, D-backs did, in fact, hold on. Boy, the anti-smoking ads are really depressing–and I don't smoke. Livo pitching quite nicely, a lot better than Jurjens, maybe they should swap jobs. Still a pleasure to watch Livo's fielding.

  89. peric - Apr 24, 2012 at 5:41 AM

    Thanks PericYou're welcome Gonat and you should delete the post publishing your email address albeit technically when you use a registered handle the email address should be visible within the profile … as many here mentioned.Still, sec 3 is right why guy trouble?

  90. peric - Apr 24, 2012 at 5:50 AM

    I don't know about watching the Phillies and Dodgers … prefer Nats minor league ….Here's a pretty good insiders story about Corey Brown …When Corey Brown thought he was blind.

  91. Dave - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    Thanks, Mark. I hereby return to the fold. (Not that I ever had anything that brilliant to say, but it's nice to talk Nats baseball with imaginary friends.)I'm sure the possibility for personal abuse will still be here (as it was at the NJ), but at least it won't be anonymous.Switching my avatar, by the way. No more hairless glasses face.I am loving the bizarro world in which we currently live, where the Nats are 5.5 games ahead of the Phillies. I hope it'll last.

  92. baseballswami - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    This post has taken on a life of it's own. We are all chomping at the bit for some live baseball. It was highly amusing to watch last night's Nats Classic, though. And very annoying at times. Go Nats! I hope we take the other coast by storm!

  93. Sunderland - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    Hoping that 7AM brings a fresh set of interwebz pixels for us to enjoy.

  94. NatsLady - Apr 24, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  95. natsfan1a - Apr 24, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    hehe. :-)Section 3, My PFB Sofa said… Waddu Eye, thank you so much. Props to 1a–you must have SOME contacts! April 23, 2012 11:46 PM

  96. NatsLady - Apr 24, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    peric, there was only one Nationals affiliates game (P-Nats) yesterday and it was over before I got home from work… (and not on video anyway, I think).That's interesting about the glasses (Corey Brown link). I assume you can't wear them in game?

  97. The Great Unwashed - Apr 24, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    Test

  98. NatsFanJim - Apr 24, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    Desmond is proving hard work and sheer Will can take you to another level. Good job, Desi.

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