Danny Espinosa More Than Stop-Gap Solution for Washington: Nationals Nation

Danny Espinosa Nationals Nation

When 3B Ryan Zimmerman went on the disabled list, the team did a little maneuvering to accommodate the loss. Anthony Rendon was moved to third from second, and Danny Espinosa was inserted into the line-up at second. The move was intended to be a stop-gap solution for the Washington Nationals, until Zimmerman returned, but Danny Espinosa is proving that he is ready to be an everyday player.

In 27 games this season, Espinosa is hitting .313, with seven of his 15 hits going for extra bases.  His defense has been solid, with Espinosa only making two errors in his 15 starts at second.

During the week he was a solid 8-26, with five runs, three RBI, and a homerun. He was a little bit better in the four game series against the St. Louis Cardinals, racking up five hits in 14 at bats.

The play of Danny Espinosa has made it so the Washington Nationals don’t have to think of him as a stop-gap solution until Zimmerman returns.  He is playing exceptionally well, and much more than was expected of him. This is allowing the team to have confidence that he can be a key contributor each night.

In Sunday’s game against the Cardinals, he was a key contributor to the 3-2 win. Not only did he have 3 hits, but he also  knocked in the tying run, and scored the winning run. With the Nationals trailing the Cardinals in the seventh, Espinosa singled to right field to score Anthony Rendon and tie the game at 2. Two innings later, he was on third when Denard Span hit a sacrifice fly that scored Espinosa with the winning walk-off run. It was truly a great moment for the rookie.

Zimmerman will be out at least another week, but even after he returns Espinosa has played well enough that the Washington Nationals can rely on him to be much more than a simple stop-gap solution. He will be able to spell many of the infielders on a regular basis, keeping him sharp, and allowing others to get rest.

Nationals Notes: Denard Span returned from the seven-day concussion DL, and is showing no signs of effects from the concussion symptoms he was experiencing.

The Miami Marlins broke an eight-game losing streak when they beat the Nationals 9-2 Tuesday night. Steven Strasburg struggled again, giving up eight hits and six runs in four innings. He is still struggling to maintain his control. Strasburg looked much better on Sunday, pitching six innings, giving up just five hits and two runs, while fanning nine Cardinal batters. He got a no-decision in the game.

Gio Gonzalez (3-1) rebounded from his worst start of the season to beat the Cardinals 3-1 Friday night. Gonzalez went seven innings, giving up just four hits and one run, while striking out seven.

The split of the series against the Cardinals was more of a blessing than most would think. The Nationals went 7-24 last season against teams that made the playoffs, and they started out the season 1-5 against the Atlanta Braves this year. If they are going to make the playoffs and have real World Series aspirations, they have to prove they can beat quality opponents.

Commentary by Robert Pannier
Guardian Liberty Voice Sports Writer covering the Washington Nationals

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