The Nats got nothing else off rookie starter Shelby Miller and three relievers. Desmond came up in the eighth with two outs and runners on second and third. Trevor Rosenthal struck him out looking.
“That’s the situation I want to be in *** the game on the line,” Desmond said. “I’ll take me in that situation any day of the week. He just got me out today. Hopefully I get that opportunity again.”
Stammen’s two-inning outing came two days after he struck out five in two innings against the Mets. He needed another double play to get out of the sixth but he did get out of it. Ryan Mattheus and Drew Storen finished, neither allowing a baserunner.
“When the breaks go your way, you look like a real good player. When they don’t, you look like a real bad one,” Stammen said. “Defense made some real good double plays for me, got me out of those two innings.
“The bullpen came in and we all really threw the ball well. We’re starting to get into a little bit of a rhythm, figuring out when Davey’s going to use us.”
For Haren, that answer is simple. He’ll be used every fifth game. That means he goes again Saturday against the Reds, the team that scored six runs off him in four innings in his Nationals debut.
“I feel confident. When I take the ball and get out there, I feel like I’m pitching to win,” Haren said. “It’s close. It’s going to turn around. I just have to keep believing in myself.”