(John McDonnell)

Ian Desmond remains at leadoff despite an 0-for-9 start to the season. He’s seen just 29 pitches in his nine plate appearances. The Nationals think Desmond has been a touch anxious in his first season batting first and that he’ll calm with some more experience. They don’t plan to bat anyone else first on a regular basis anytime soon.

Yesterday, Desmond agreed he might have been a little anxious. He drew some confidence from his fourth at-bat, when he hit a deep fly ball to center. “Today, I had a little bit of encouragement,” he joked after the game.. “In my second to last at-bat, I hit the ball to somebody besides the third baseman.”

But there was a serious point to Desmond’s funny line – “I slowed myself down,” he said.

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