Ian Desmond scared the heck out of his manager and 29,111 fans in attendance at Nats Park tonight when the Nationals’ All-Star shortstop came up limping mid-way through his sprint down the first base line in the eighth inning.
Desmond appeared shaken up for a minute, then strangely shook off whatever was bugging him and convinced Davey Johnson and a team trainer that he was fine.
So what the heck happened there?
“I’m not really exactly sure,” Desmond said with a smile. “I think it was a little bit of maybe I hyperextended my knee a little bit or something like that. I think it was just one of those things, I was running down the line and felt something. My first reaction was to jump off of it before something bad happened. Once that happened, I ran down the line, it felt fine and I was able to stay in the game.
“I could’ve done anything. I wouldn’t have taken myself out to hit. If my at-bat came up, I would’ve hit, no doubt. I think it just scared me more than anything. It was something kind of funky in there and I just went, ‘Whoa!’ and jumped off it and made sure nothing really bad happened.”
The play resulted in an inning-ending double play, which killed a Nationals rally and their last real shot to even things up with the Braves.
“I thought no doubt I was going to be able to beat it out,” Desmond said. “And then that (tweak) kind of happened and being out wasn’t real important in that moment.”
Kurt Suzuki had X-rays on his right hand come back clean, this after the catcher took a foul ball squarely off that hand in the fourth inning. He clearly was in pain immediately after being struck by the ball off the bat of Freddie Freeman, but remained in the game.
“It’s OK,” said Suzuki after getting treatment on the hand following the game. “It’s swollen, but it’s just a little sore. Just the normal stuff after getting hit.”
It was a rough night for Bryce Harper; the rookie outfielder went 1-for-4 with a strikeout and misplayed a ball in center field which ended up resulting in a two-run double in the fifth. Martin Prado struck the ball well, but Harper came in on it initially only to realize it would travel further than he thought.
“I thought I had a good read on it,” Harper said. “He hit it off his front foot, got some backspin on it, hit it hard and I had to bust my butt. I came in a little bit, just because he was off his front foot. But he backspinned it. It was a good hit.
“(Shoot), he pissed on it. Nothing I can do. I came in on the ball, tried to roll back as fast as I could. He backspinned the crap out of it.”
Harper went 0-for-3 against Braves starter Kris Medlen, who held the Nats scoreless over seven innings.
“He was mixing it really well,” Harper said. “His fastball was good at times, but he was throwing off his curveball and changeup. You just try to do the best you can against a guy like that. He threw the (expletive) out of it, so I think ... nothing you can do. Tip your cap.”