Towards the end of last night's post game press conference, Nats' skipper Davey Johnson once again spoke about the state of Washington Nationals' shortstop Ian Desmond's injured oblique, telling reporters he doubted the 26-year-old shortstop would be playing in the series finale with Atlanta today. Johnson said Desi's oblique acting up again was the only negative in the Nats' big win over the Braves Saturday night.
Knowing that the injury which has bothered Desmond for several weeks and kept him out of his first All-Star Game was again a problem the Nationals' manager considered pinch hitting for the infielder last night, but when Desmond's spot in the order came up in the sixth inning of what was then a 2-1 game in Atlanta's favor, and the bases were loaded, the shortstop told Johnson, "'You ain't hitting for me.'"
Johnson said it was a simple decision really. "I don't know who else I'd like to have up there to put the ball in play or drive in a couple runs than him, even if he's hurt." Desmond grounded out to first to bring the tying run in, and then was taken out of the game before the eighth. Asked after the come-from-behind win if Desmond would be available today, Johnson admitted, "I don't know. Probably iffy." After playing back-to-back games Saturday, another game on Sunday seemed unlikely, with the Nats' manager explaining, "[Desmond's] a gamer," but, "I doubt if he'll be able to go tomorrow."
When the lineup was announced this morning, Desmond's name was not listed. Danny Espinosa's back at short. Steve Lombardozzi's at second. Asked if there was a DL stint in Desmond's future, Johnson told reporters, "I don't want to go there." They'll continue to go day-to-day with Desmond for now. This afternoon, he's out:
#Nationals lineup vs. ATL - Lombardozzi, 2b, Harper, rf, Zimmerman, 3b, Morse, lfLaRoche, 1b Espinosa, ss Bernadina, cfLeon, c Detwiler, p— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) July 22, 2012