PITTSBURGH - After making two errors on Saturday night and going 0-for-3 to drop his average to .203 for the season, shortstop Ian Desmond will get a day off against the Pirates on Sunday.
Manager Jim Riggleman said he was planning to get Alex Cora - who will start at shortstop today - a game at some point this weekend, though it didn't necessarily have to be today, and it didn't have to be at shortstop. But with Desmond struggling at the plate and in the field - and with the birth of his first child a matter of days away - Riggleman decided to give the shortstop a day to rest.
"Ian could use a day. He's got a lot on his mind," Riggleman said. "He's not an excuse-maker. Believe me, he's not feeling good about his game yesterday. We're just going to let him sit back, reflect on one and maybe win this one with a pinch hit for us."
Desmond now has six errors for the season, which is tied for the most in the majors, but while his first one last night came when he dropped a routine throw, Riggleman didn't have any problem with his second one.
Jose Tabata broke for second on a slow-to-develop pickoff play, and when Desmond got the throw, he tried a quick tag on Tabata, knowing that was his only chance to get the runner. The ball got away from him when he tried to apply the tag, though, and Tabata went to third.
"He's taking one for the team there," Riggleman said. "There's probably no play there, but instead of giving up on the play, he tried to be extremely quick, slap a tag down and in the process, he misses the ball and gets charged with an error. He could have just played it safe, caught the ball and doesn't get charged with an error. But he tried to save us out of a situation there where we kind of had a botched pickoff."