Glancing down at the batter-pitcher matchups before tonight’s game, it wasn’t hard to spot Ian Desmond’s career batting line against Giants starter Tim Lincecum.
Desmond was 9-for-11 off Lincecum entering tonight, with one homer, two doubles and five RBIs.
We can now boost those numbers up a bit.
Leading off the bottom of the second, Desmond demolished a 2-2 Lincecum changeup way out to left-center for his 17th homer of the season. The ball cleared the Giants’ bullpen and came down about seven rows past the back wall of the ‘pen.
Yeah, it was quite a shot.
That makes Desmond 10-for-12 with two homers and six RBIs off Lincecum. But he did strike out once in those 11 at-bats.
Cut the bum.
The Desmond homer tied the game at 1-1 after Roger Kieschnick’s RBI single broke a scoreless tie in the top of the second. Kieschnick brought around Hunter Pence, who had drawn a walk off Jordan Zimmermann and then stole second base.
Another run that comes around because of an inability by Nationals pitchers and catchers to hold baserunners.
The Nats have now thrown out just 13.6 percent of attempted basestealers this season (12-of-88), which is by far the lowest percentage in the majors.
Meanwhile, the town of Kissimmee, Fla. has been doing some in-stadium advertising at Nats Park tonight, which could be an indicator of how the Nationals’ search for a new spring training home is going.
The Nats have considered relocating their spring training complex, and Kissimmee has been one of a few cities that has been discussed. Relocating there would put the Nationals closer to the Braves (Orlando) and the Tigers (Lakeland), but the Astros have been discussing moving out of Kissimmee as well.
The Osceola County Board of Commissioners has a vote scheduled for Aug. 19 to decide whether to approve a $98 million proposal to construct a new spring training facility for the Nationals in Kissimmee.
Update: OK, a quick scroll down the official Twitter page of the town of Kissimmee shows that city staffers have been bouncing from ballpark to ballpark in the last couple weeks advertising travel deals.
Maybe we shouldn’t read too much into a possible Nats spring training move just yet.
On the field, Zimmermann has allowed just one run through four innings, but he’s needed a whopping 82 pitches to get this far.
Zimmermann was as efficient as could be earlier in the season, working deep into games with low pitch counts. His last time out, he threw 88 pitches over four innings, and the pitch count is rising quickly again tonight.
Update II: The Nats batted around in the fourth, sending 10 batters to the plate, notching six hits, scoring five runs and making this a 6-1 ballgame.
Anthony Rendon delivered the big blow, crushing a 2-2 pitch from Lincecum over the head of center fielder Gregor Blanco (who was playing surprisingly shallow) for a two-run double. Kurt Suzuki and Ryan Zimmerman also added RBIs and another Nats run came around on a Lincecum wild pitch.
The bats have come alive lately.