Shortstop Ian Desmond continues to deliver in the clutch.
On Tuesday, Desmond produced three straight RBIs, with his team trailing each time.
In the eighth frame, Desmond’s RBI single tied the game at 4-4.
In the tenth, Desmond reached on an error hit so hard that Ryan Zimmerman scored to knot the contest at five.
And finally, in the game-changing 12th inning with the Nats trailing 6-5, Desmond’s RBI double scored Michael Morse to even the game again.
Whether it has been leading off or in the fifth spot, Desmond has found a way to make an impact on the Nationals’ season. And it seems batting fifth, he has turned games around time and time again.
When the Nationals win, Desmond has hit .285 with 7 homers and 21 RBIs. When the Nationals lose and he plays, Desmond is hitting .239 with one homer and 5 RBIs.
Pretty significant difference, and manager Davey Johnson knows why Desmond delivers.
“He has been that kind of guy all year long,” Johnson said. “He has got some big hits, whether it is leading off or whereever he is at. He seems to like to be in those situations. He is in a perfect spot right now in the lineup because he doesn’t see too many balls he doesn’t like. He got two big hits tonight to help us beat this ballclub. It was great.”
“It was a great game,” Desmond said. “I think any time you have the opportunity to help your team out, that is what you dream about.”
“Me and (Mets third baseman) David Wright were joking at third (saying,) ‘Is this game ever going to end?’ We were both like, ‘Someone do it. Let’s just get out of here.’ “
But when asked again about his at-bats, Desmond said he was inspired by a pair of youngsters who have been fighting through difficult health issues.
“I met a couple of kids, Joshua Acres, who got rid of leukemia when he was five-years-old, and Ethan Brown, who has NF2,” Desmond said. Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) is: “a genetic disorder in which tumors called schwannomas are found on nerves in the inner ear.”
He met Acres two weeks ago and Brown recently on Twitter. Desmond said thinking about Acres and Brown helped him concentrate in Tuesday’s win.
“Before I went up for that first at-bat, I thought if these kids can battle through leukemia and cancer, I can calm myself down enough to just get a hit or out enough concentration in the at-bat where I am not going to do something stupid,” Desmond said. “Thank God for putting them in my life.”