Ian Desmond went 0 for 3 with a walk in last night's loss to the Cleveland Indians, breaking a fifteen-game hit streak that stretched back to the Washington Nationals' May 27th loss to the Baltimore Orioles. In 60 plate appearances during the streak, the Nats' 27-year-old shortstop was 23 for 57 (.404/.433/.579) with four doubles, two home runs, three walks and nine Ks. Desmond started the streak with a .259/.292/.450 line on the year and after last night's 0 for 3, the Montreal Expos' 2004 3rd Round pick had a .290/.324/.478 line with 18 doubles, two triples and eight home runs after 65 games and 263 plate appearances.
On June 15, 2012, in a season that saw Desmond take another big step in his development, the then 26-year-old infielder had a .266/.295/.441 line with 17 doubles a triple and nine home runs in 61 games and 275 PAs. Though he suffered an oblique injury which caused him to miss his first All-Star appearance and kept him out the lineup coming out of the All-Star Break, in 69 games from June 16th through the end of the regular season on October 3rd, Desmond posted a .320/.375/.584 line with 16 doubles, a triple and 16 HRs for the NL East division winners. He ended the year with a .292/.355/.511 line, up from .269/.308/.392 in his first full season in 2010 and .253/.298/.358 in 2011.
Along the way he also got the error issues which plagued him throughout his ascent in the Nationals' system under control. After committing 34 errors in 2010, Desmond made 23 in 2011 and 15 in 2012. While it looked like it might be an issue again when the Nats' shortstop made seven errors in the first 15 games this season, Desmond hasn't made an error since April 21st, a stretch of 47 games.
Desmond's eight home runs are third amongst NL shortstops, behind the Brewers' Jean Segura (10) and the Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki (16). His .290 AVG is 4th amongst qualified shortstops in the NL, OBP 6th, SLG 3rd behind Segura and Tulowitzki again, he's fourth in fWAR (+1.8) behind the Giants' Brandon Crawford (+2.0), Segura (+3.0), the Padres' Everth Cabrera (+3.3) and Tulowitzki (+3.9).
The Nationals' shortstop will try to get another hit streak started tonight and hopefully continue the stretch of errorless games. Desmond is batting sixth and playing short tonight in Cleveland's Progressive Field when the Nats take on the Indians in the second game of a three game weekend set in Ohio. Here's the rest of the lineup:
Tonight's lineup at CLE: Span CF, Rendon 2B, Zimmerman 3B, Werth RF, LaRoche 1B, Desmond SS, Marrero DH, Suzuki C, Kobernus LF, Zimmermann P— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) June 15, 2013