From a distance, Ian Desmond's second inning home run tonight off of Braves' starter Tommy Hanson would seem fairly inconsequential.
Yet, putting in the context of 2010 vs. 2009, it seems like night and day.
A year ago, if the Nationals had scored one in the first and had given up two in the second on a walk and a home run, many fans might've changed the channel and checked back an hour or so later - if at all. Now, with a hitter like Desmond batting in the lower third of the order (for now), you don't want to miss those AB's.
It's not hard to project another year down the road and see an infield with 100-home run potential, assuming the return of Dunn at first.
Again, not a great crowd tonight, but this has never been a town particularly quick on the uptake, and as a native, I've seen it happen over and over again.
Of course, someday we'll refer to the Nationals in terms of Pre-Stephen and Post-Stephen...