For a few weeks now, Ian Desmond has been battling a sore left oblique.
It hasn't been enough to cause him to miss any game action, but it has bugged him. And so, instead of risking further aggravating the oblique by coming off the bench during the All-Star Game, Desmond has decided to skip the Midsummer Classic. He'll instead get some time to rest over the break.
This decision was made after conferring with Nationals team doctors, management and the manager of the National League All-Star team, Tony LaRussa.
LaRussa had hand-picked Desmond as one of his manager selections to the All-Star roster.
Desmond will still technically be considered an All-Star because of the injury situation and the fact that his decision not to appear in the game was handled through the proper channels. Last season, Derek Jeter opted not to partake in the Midsummer Classic on his own volition, and thus didn't get the All-Star designation.
The Nationals shortstop will be replaced on the National League roster by Braves outfielder Michael Bourn.
After homering in the second and singling in the fifth inning today, Desmond is now batting .283 this season. The home run gave him a team-leading 16 longballs on the season, and he now has 49 RBIs.
This will leave Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez as the Nationals' lone representatives in Kansas City.
The Nationals and Rockies are tied 1-1 entering the sixth inning. Desmond's homer to right-center got the Nats out on top, but Jordan Pacheco's sacrifice fly in the fourth knotted things up.
The ball has been flying out to right field this homestand and Desmond's shot was no different. It just kept carrying and barely cleared the scoreboard in right-center.
Despite the heat, Gonzalez and Rockies starter Jeff Francis have done a nice job battling and limiting the scoring chances today. The shade is slowly starting to creep onto the field as we get into the evening hours, helping to cool things off a bit.