Desmond is normally a reliable shortstop, yet he made two errors today — one of which changed the course of the game. On a grounder hit directly to him — a routine one at that — the ball rolled between his legs allowing a run to score. While it did not put the Nats behind, it gave closer Rafael Soriano much less breathing room in the ninth inning. That turned out to be a bad omen as Soriano — who, through his career, has blown 15 percent of save/hold opportunities — allowed the Reds to climb back and tie the game.
The type of error committed by Desmond in the eight is extremely rare for him — or any infielder for that matter. In his career, most of his fielding errors are the result of bad hops or jumps on a batted ball. He tends to convert an out on the majority of hits into his zone. Desmond isn’t a Gold Glove fielder by any means. The fundamental mistakes he made today won’t put him up for the award anytime soon.
The error must have struck a special chord for Desmond because he put the burden of the game on his shoulders when he rocked a J.J. Hoover pitch over the wall to put the Nationals back in front for the final time Saturday afternoon. To seal the game, catcher Wilson Ramos went yard — his second of the game — two batters later. That made it five home runs on the day for the Nationals after being shut out the night before.
This game could have been a disastrous one for Desmond — though all the blame cannot be put on him — but he ended up going from goat to hero three innings later.