Two of Ian Desmond’s last three swings have resulted in home runs.
Last night, Desmond led the Nationals to a 6-2 win with an 11th-inning grand slam. Tonight, Desmond launched a 1-1 changeup from Roy Oswalt into the left field seats in the second inning to give the Nats a 1-0 lead over the Rockies.
Desmond now has 11 homers on the season, third-most among major league shortstops and second-most on the Nats behind Bryce Harper, who has 12. Desmond also leads all active shortstops in extra-base hits with 31 (18 doubles, two triples and 11 homers).
He trails Troy Tulowitzki in the extra-base hit department (Tulowitzki has 32), but the Rockies’ shortstop is currently on the DL.
Not only is Desmond getting it done offensively, he’s now played 52 consecutive error-free games coming into tonight’s contest.
That’s currently the longest streak among big league shortstops and tops Desmond’s previous career-high of 39 straight games without an error.
Think Desmond is worthy of his second straight All-Star selection? I sure do.
Jordan Zimmermann has been pounding the strike zone tonight, and is through three scoreless innings on just 38 pitches, 33 of which have been strikes.
Oswalt has nearly matched him pitch-for-pitch, outside of the Desmond homer. Making his first big league start of the season, the veteran right-hander has four strikeouts through two innings so far.
It’s 1-0 Nats mid-way through the third.
Update: Zimmermann’s through five innings, and not much has changed. He’s still dominating the Rockies and showing pinpoint control.
The righty has held the Rockies scoreless and to just three hits so far, but even more impressive than the numbers on the line score are the ones that make up the pitch count. Zimmermann has thrown 63 pitches through five innings, 50 for strikes.
Seventy-nine percent of the pitches Zimmermann has thrown have been strikes.
Put another way, Zimmerman has thrown a total of 13 balls to 17 hitters.
Yeah. Impressive stuff.
Zimmermann got a little more run support in the middle innings. Adam LaRoche motored around from second to score on a Kurt Suzuki just beyond the infield dirt in the fourth inning. In the fifth, LaRoche ripped a two-run triple to right-center, his second triple of the season and 12th of his career.
Two of LaRoche’s eight career stolen bases have also come this season, and he’s made a number of impressive plays on the basepaths. A guy usually mocked by teammates for his lack of speed has shown some decent wheels this season.
The Nats struck out 11 times against Oswalt tonight in his five innings, but they have a four-run edge and Zimmermann on the mound, protecting the heck out of it.