Ian Desmond a rare bright spot at plate for Nationals in shutout

  • Washington Nationals left fielder Michael Morse (38) shows his frustration as he strikes out to end the first inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 3 of Major League Baseball's National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals left fielder Michael Morse (38) shows his frustration as he strikes out to end the first inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 3 of Major League Baseball's National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals' Edwin Jackson delivers the first pitch in the top of the first inning as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)Nationals' Edwin Jackson delivers the first pitch in the top of the first inning as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)
  • Cardinals' Pete Kozma (38) is greeted in the dugout after his three-run home run in the top of the second inning as the Washington Nationals hosting the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)Cardinals' Pete Kozma (38) is greeted in the dugout after his three-run home run in the top of the second inning as the Washington Nationals hosting the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals starting pitcher Edwin Jackson (33) pitches in the first inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals starting pitcher Edwin Jackson (33) pitches in the first inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma (38) hits a three run homer in the second inning to put the St. Louis Cardinals up 4-0 as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma (38) hits a three run homer in the second inning to put the St. Louis Cardinals up 4-0 as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson (5) argues a call with the first base umpire in the second inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson (5) argues a call with the first base umpire in the second inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa (8) shows his frustration in the dugout as he was called out at first on a bunt in the second inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa (8) shows his frustration in the dugout as he was called out at first on a bunt in the second inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper (34) wears red contacts as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper (34) wears red contacts as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • A Washington Nationals pitching coach comes to the mound to talk to Washington Nationals starting pitcher Edwin Jackson (33) after struggling in the second inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)A Washington Nationals pitching coach comes to the mound to talk to Washington Nationals starting pitcher Edwin Jackson (33) after struggling in the second inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • The St. Louis Cardinals congratulate each other after a 8-0 win over the Nationals in Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.., Oct. 10, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
The St. Louis Cardinals congratulate each other after a 8-0 win over the Nationals in Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.., Oct. 10, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • ** FILE ** Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson (5) watches the ninth inning from the dugout as the Washington Nationals lose to the St. Louis Cardinals 8-0 in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)** FILE ** Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson (5) watches the ninth inning from the dugout as the Washington Nationals lose to the St. Louis Cardinals 8-0 in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals' relief pitcher Drew Storen delivers in the top of the ninth inning as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)Nationals' relief pitcher Drew Storen delivers in the top of the ninth inning as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals relief pitcher Ryan Mattheus (52) sits in the dugout after giving up two runs in the eight inning as the Washington Nationals lose to the St. Louis Cardinals 8-0 in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals relief pitcher Ryan Mattheus (52) sits in the dugout after giving up two runs in the eight inning as the Washington Nationals lose to the St. Louis Cardinals 8-0 in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals relief pitcher Ryan Mattheus (52) shows his frustration after giving up two runs in the eight inning as the Washington Nationals lose to the St. Louis Cardinals 8-0 in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals relief pitcher Ryan Mattheus (52) shows his frustration after giving up two runs in the eight inning as the Washington Nationals lose to the St. Louis Cardinals 8-0 in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran (3) slides across home plate as he and St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay (19) score in the eighth inning to put the St. Louis Cardinals up 8-0 against the Washington Nationals in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran (3) slides across home plate as he and St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay (19) score in the eighth inning to put the St. Louis Cardinals up 8-0 against the Washington Nationals in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) strikes out in the seventh inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) strikes out in the seventh inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals' relief pitcher Christian Garcia wipes his brow following a conference on the mound in the top of the seventh inning as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)Nationals' relief pitcher Christian Garcia wipes his brow following a conference on the mound in the top of the seventh inning as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)
  • St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday (7) goes down after being hit by a foul ball in the eighth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday (7) goes down after being hit by a foul ball in the eighth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) throws out St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday (7) in the seventh inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) throws out St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday (7) in the seventh inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals starting pitcher Edwin Jackson (33) grimaces after he finishes for the day as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals starting pitcher Edwin Jackson (33) grimaces after he finishes for the day as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa (8) strikes out in the eight inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa (8) strikes out in the eight inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (R) scores before the ball gets to Washington Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki in the top of the 6th inning of Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.., Oct. 10, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (R) scores before the ball gets to Washington Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki in the top of the 6th inning of Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.., Oct. 10, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) misses a catch against the wall in the sixth inning hit by St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese (23) as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) misses a catch against the wall in the sixth inning hit by St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese (23) as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Left to right: Washington Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25), right fielder Jayson Werth (28), and center fielder Bryce Harper (34), get ready to take the field for the top of the sixth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Left to right: Washington Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25), right fielder Jayson Werth (28), and center fielder Bryce Harper (34), get ready to take the field for the top of the sixth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) squats on third base between plays in the fifth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) squats on third base between plays in the fifth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper (34) wears red contacts as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper (34) wears red contacts as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals starting pitcher Edwin Jackson (33) finishes out the 5th inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals starting pitcher Edwin Jackson (33) finishes out the 5th inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals starting pitcher Edwin Jackson (33) throws out St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay (19) on a bunt in the fifth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals starting pitcher Edwin Jackson (33) throws out St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay (19) on a bunt in the fifth inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa (8) shows his frustration in the dugout as he was called out at first on a bunt in the second inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa (8) shows his frustration in the dugout as he was called out at first on a bunt in the second inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson (5) argues a call with the first base umpire in the second inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson (5) argues a call with the first base umpire in the second inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Despite beating the throw, Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa (8) is called out at first on a sacrifice bunt in the second inning in Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Oct. 10, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
Despite beating the throw, Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa (8) is called out at first on a sacrifice bunt in the second inning in Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Oct. 10, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals starting pitcher Edwin Jackson (33) sits in the dugout after giving up 3 runs in the second inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals starting pitcher Edwin Jackson (33) sits in the dugout after giving up 3 runs in the second inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals starting pitcher Edwin Jackson (33) gave up four earned runs in five innings pitches to lose Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Oct. 10, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Edwin Jackson (33) gave up four earned runs in five innings pitches to lose Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Oct. 10, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki (24) visits with starting pitcher Edwin Jackson (33) after giving up three runs in the second inning of Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Oct. 10, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
Washington Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki (24) visits with starting pitcher Edwin Jackson (33) after giving up three runs in the second inning of Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Oct. 10, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Nationals' Kurt Suzuki reacts after striking out in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)Nationals' Kurt Suzuki reacts after striking out in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)
  • Cardinals' Jon Jay (19) and Carlos Beltran (3) are greeted at the dugout by Allen Craig (21) after scoring on a two-run RBI single by Matt Holliday in the top of the eighth inning as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)Cardinals' Jon Jay (19) and Carlos Beltran (3) are greeted at the dugout by Allen Craig (21) after scoring on a two-run RBI single by Matt Holliday in the top of the eighth inning as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)
  • St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma (38) hits a three run homer in the second inning to put the St. Louis Cardinals up 4-0 as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma (38) hits a three run homer in the second inning to put the St. Louis Cardinals up 4-0 as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Nationals' Edwin Jackson delivers in the top of the first inning as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)Nationals' Edwin Jackson delivers in the top of the first inning as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)
  • Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman is tagged in a force out at second base by Cardinals' Pete Kozma in the bottom of the first inning as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman is tagged in a force out at second base by Cardinals' Pete Kozma in the bottom of the first inning as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)
  • Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman takes a lead off first base in the bottom of the first inning as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman takes a lead off first base in the bottom of the first inning as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) winds up to hit a single in the first inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) winds up to hit a single in the first inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) claps his hands as he hits a single as the lead off hitter in the first inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) claps his hands as he hits a single as the lead off hitter in the first inning as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals Jayson Werth singles on a line drive to center field for his team's first hit in Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Oct. 10, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
Washington Nationals Jayson Werth singles on a line drive to center field for his team's first hit in Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Oct. 10, 2012. (Preston Keres/Special to The Washington Times)
  • Nationals' Jayson Werth reacts to the National's first hit of the game, his single in the bottom of the first inning as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)Nationals' Jayson Werth reacts to the National's first hit of the game, his single in the bottom of the first inning as the Washington Nationals host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11), center fielder Bryce Harper (34), and others gets ready for the game in the dugout as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11), center fielder Bryce Harper (34), and others gets ready for the game in the dugout as the Washington Nationals play the St. Louis Cardinals in game three of Major League Baseball playoffs at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, October 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

View results

Before Game 3 of the National League Division Series, Ian Desmond got to speak to Frank Robinson, the ex-Washington manager who was set to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. 

In their conversation, Robinson didn’t offer Desmond any advice, and the Washington Nationals’ All-Star shortstop — who wears No. 20 in Robinson’s honor — didn’t need it. While many of his teammates struggled at the plate in an 8-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, Desmond brought his bat, going 3 for 4 as one of the few bright spots.

“Desi’s a big-game player. That’s been evident all year,” right fielder Jayson Werth said. “He’s got the mentality and just the wherewithal to be that type of guy.”

It’s not Desmond’s fault that he came up clutch in a big game as others failed to do so. He never came up with runners in scoring position while teammates went 0 for 8 in those spots, and he was stranded every time he got on.

“To get shut out is never fun,” Desmond said. “To win, you’ve got to have timely hits, and we didn’t do that today.”

Desmond singled twice and doubled Wednesday as one of the few Washington hitters who enjoyed some success against St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter.

“I’m just trying to go up there and let the game happen,” Desmond said. “I’m not putting too much pressure on myself, just kind of sticking with what I’ve been doing all year long.”

He was a .292 hitter all year long to go along with 72 runs scored. He crossed the plate in Games 1 and 2, too.

In this series, Desmond is 7 for 12 (.583).

“It’s just seeing the ball and hitting the ball. That’s pretty much it,” he said. “It’s not science. Just go up there, and if you see one you like, swing at it.”

But as much as Desmond tried to shrug off the praise, it was hard to deny he was one of the few players Wednesday who produced in a charged environment that featured the largest crowd in Nationals Park history.

That he managed to never lose his cool at the plate or in the field came as no surprise to his teammates. They know some fans are seeing Desmond for the first time in the MLB postseason, but they know he was producing well before October.

“He’s one of the best players in the game. That’s been kind of transitioning,” infielder Mark DeRosa said. “I’m happy he’s capitalizing on the big stage, kind of letting the world know who he is and what he’s about. We’ve seen it all year.”

It was only fitting that Robinson was there Wednesday to see it, too. Desmond’s afternoon ended with plenty of talk about the Nationals being on the brink of elimination, but it started with him catching Robinson’s first pitch.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player