This is not a jinx. Nothing we do or say here has any influence on what goes on once the Washington Nationals take the field. That being said: Have you noticed that Ian Desmond is kind of quietly turning his season around?
His voice is still quiet, but his bat has been loud in the last few weeks.
As the Nationals mention in their pregame notes for tonight's matchup with the Rockies in Colorado's Coors Field, over his last 27 games, the 29-year-old infielder, who went 3 for 6 with a double and four runs batted in last night, has a .313/.376/.606 line with three doubles, a triple, eight home runs, 10 walks and 29 Ks in 110 PAs.
Desmond and his bat (#Wecandothisbat) have always enjoyed the mile-high air.
Over the course of the Montreal Expos' '04 3rd Round pick's major league career, he's 34 for 78 (.436/.458/.705) with 10 doubles, a triple and three home runs in 19 games in Denver.
Granted, Desmond's recent run of success at the plate has left him with a .229/.278/.389 line after 114 games and 468 plate appearances over which he's hit 20 doubles, two triples, 15 home runs and stolen 10 bases, but eight of his 15 HRs have come in the last 30 games and 120 PAs.
Desmond has put up a .284/.345/.550 line since the All-Star Break.
He's been worth +1.1 fWAR, tied with Nats' slugger Bryce Harper for the team lead, after finishing the first half at -0.6 fWAR with a .211/.255/.354 line over 84 games and 348 PAs in which he hit 17 doubles, a triple and seven home runs.
Desmond did commit his 23rd error of the season last night, but it was just his third error in the last 34 games and he once again refused to take it to the plate as he and the Nationals kept battling back last night in what ended up a 15-6 win.
"The best part was the fact that we came back," Desmond told reporters after the win.
"We bounced back. Made a couple mistakes, but we didn't let it hold us down. It was a good sign."
"No runs are enough in this stadium," Desmond sort-of joked.
In spite of blowing 2-0 and 6-4 leads, the Nationals didn't fold and they crushed the Rockies' relievers, scoring nine runs total in the last three frames as things got completely out of hand.
"We just kept on grinding," Desmond said.
"That's what we've been doing all year. That's what we've done for the last three years here. Cardiac Nats. Bringing something back from the dead right there. See what I did there? That's the type of baseball we play.
"No one here is perfect. When we strive for perfection, we constantly come up short and that's just not a good recipe for success in this game. No matter what team you're on. Just kind of realizing, that hey, we're going to overcome mistakes, we're going to keep battling back and figthing, that's kind of the mentality we're going forward with."
The Nationals, as a team, took ten walks total on the night. Desmond, who didn't walk, but has been more patient in recent weeks, was asked if patience at the plate combined with the Rockies' pitchers' lack of control led to their offensive display?
"I can pretty much speak for myself, I'm not hardly ever really patient at the plate," he said. "We kind of got a couple breaks. We hit some balls good. Just kept putting the pressure on them and that's how you win ballgames."
Here's the Nationals' lineup for the second game of three with the Rockies: