Last year one major league manager held court with a couple of reporters in a dugout. The informal conversation veered toward how hard players ran the bases. The manager made the point that no one really runs out every ground ball. It wasn’t a get-off-my-lawn complain just an observation about the toll the game takes. Players will sprint when they smell a hit he said but out of conservation no player actually busts down the line every play. Then the manager stopped himself.
“Well” he said. “Desmond does.”

Ian Desmond plays hard. He does not receive the same attention as say Bryce Harper for doing so and that is probably because he plays more in control and has been doing it longer. But Desmond plays hard every day he is in the lineup which is essentially every day the Nationals play.

“If you watch Desi play on a day in day out basis he’s fun to watch” Jayson Werth said. “He really brings it when he comes to the yard every day. Kinda runs the infield. Big spark in our lineup. He’s got the potential to be a really good player as time goes on. Definitely a big part of the team. If he keeps playing the way he is playing hopefully some guys can fall in line.”

Desmond’s hustle reveled itself Sunday afternoon with a bold base-running play that if we’re being honest would have given people the vapors had it been Harper pulled it off.

In the fifth inning of their 6-0 win over the Phillies the Nationals loaded the bases. Werth stood on third and Desmond occupied second. Wilson Ramos hit a grounder to second baseman Chase Utley. Werth ran home and Utley’s throw short-hopped catcher Erik Kratz.