WASHINGTON -- Before Tuesday, it had been six years since Mark DeRosa started a game at shortstop. It was mostly just how he remembered it -- "awesome" -- but with a few exceptions.
"Little older, little heavier around my legs," DeRosa said. "No doubt."
A day after Washington clinched the National League East, manager Davey Johnson opted to rest most of his regulars. So with Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa on the bench, the 37-year-old DeRosa made his first appearance of the season at shortstop.
"It's a position I played my whole life coming up through the Minors," he said. "Not until the arrival of Rafael Furcal did I start bouncing around. I appreciate Davey giving me that. That was kind of 'come full circle' to finish it off nice."
DeRosa made a nice play on a Domonic Brown grounder in the second and then turned a nifty 1-6-3 double play to end the inning. He booted a grounder in the third, which he laughed off, and finished the day with two hits -- including a double that was about five feet from being his first homer of the season. His teammates seemed to want it as badly as he did.
"They were begging for it to go out, too," he said. "I'm there every day, top step, for them, too. So I appreciate it."
Because of a handful of injuries, DeRosa's appeared in only 47 games this season. He entered the night hitting .182 (and brought that average up to .198) and has just six RBIs. But he's past that.
"For me, personally, it's been a frustrating season," he said. "But I don't even worry about it. What this team's accomplished, and what I've been able to be a part of this year, has been pretty special. Personal stuff goes out the door. We've got a chance to do something great and win a World Series."