No really - three games tells us nothing. Three games gives us hints, glances, ideas, but nothing firm. I know, I know. We say this every year, but it needs to be repeated because it's sooo damn tempting to read something into games that, you know, actually matter. Games played by guys actually trying to get people out and get on base and not working on stuff.
Anyway - to the column title - if you haven't noticed Desmond struggled terribly in the opening series. He's 0 for 2011 and he's made an out every time he's been up. Getting a lot of outs is kind of a strange quality to look for in the guy you are giving the most at bats to.
So what do you do for this guy? Do you tell him - "Hey you! Don't make so many outs!"? Not if you're the Nats.
The Nationals don't want Desmond to change his approach at the plate.... The team wants him to be the player who hit .326 while batting in the second spot in the order last year.I want him to be the guy that hit that home run that one time, doesn't mean it will happen. Look Ian did great hitting 2nd, and most of us think it had something to do with being protected by Ryan and seeing a lot of fastballs. But it also had something to do with it being only 46 games and having an abnormally high .371 BABip. It isn't a surprise Ian makes outs. His OBP was .308 last year. .318 two years ago. .326 in the minors. You don't play him because he gets on base, you play him (in theory) because of his defense and moderate power.
What should the Nats do with Ian? Well, if they don't want to mess with his approach they should drop him down in the order. Not to 8th - but down there somewhere. If they want him to bat leadoff, they should work with him to be more patient. What they shouldn't do is keep trying to fit the round peg into the square hole.