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Ramos soaks in emotional return to field

Apr 2, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT

USA Today Sports Images
Wilson Ramos prepares to tag Giancarlo Stanton at the plate in the seventh inning.

As Stephen Strasburg warmed up in the right field bullpen prior to his Opening Day start, all eyes at Nationals Park were on the young right-hander. They probably didn't notice the eyes of the guy catching Strasburg, who couldn't help but get emotional from the moment.

"When I was in the bullpen, I was almost crying," Wilson Ramos said later. "I feel like today was my first game in the big leagues. I was too excited."

While Strasburg and Bryce Harper drew the lion's share of the attention during and after the Nationals' 2-0 Opening Day victory over the Marlins — and rightfully so — Ramos quietly went about his business. His presence behind the plate, though, was just as significant in the bigger picture.

Less than 11 months after tearing the ACL in his right knee while trying to corral an errant pitch in Cincinnati, Ramos was back in the Nationals' starting lineup, given the honor by manager DaveyRead more »

  1. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 2, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    Thanks for this article also Mark. Much appreciated.I saw some more highlights of the game and Ramos is the only hitter who stayed away from Nolasco's down and away off-speed stuff. Everyone else kept swinging at it without much success while Ramos drew a walk in first at-bat. He eventually singled on a fastball down and away but it was not exactly a lucky hit like Desmond's chopper.

  2. Nattering Nat - Apr 2, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    And this serves to reinforce, in spades, how right Davey's decision was to start him on Opening Day. As much of a fan as I am of Suzuki, Davey surely knows his players, what motivates them, what's right for them and for the team, and how to bring out the best in them, better than any manager I've ever witnessed. As for Ramos, after all he's gone through the past 18 months–the kidnapping, then the debilitating injury–what a joy yesterday must have been.This is what spring, and feel-good stories, are all about. Now, only 161 more games to go!!

  3. Nattering Nat - Apr 2, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    Until the playoffs!!

  4. IKN8wxU2 - Apr 2, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Question for the more knowledgeable here. Does the catcher signal for the location of the pitch using signs, or only by the position of his glove? If the latter, and the pitcher doesn't agree with the location, what can he do?

  5. tayo - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    I trust Davey's decision and also Suzuki's work behind The platet Ialso realize that the primary role for the catcher is on the defensive side and we probably should be careful not to push Ramos too hard. But it's worth asking, if Ramos can handle an increased workload, would it be prudent for Davey's to take advantage of the fact that he has seemed locked in at the plate from Spring, kind of like Harper and hence allow him to get an increase share of the workload?

  6. rmoore446 - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    Agree with Nattering Nat that it was a smart move by Davey to start Wilson Ramos. And it wasn't a gift. Ramos earned it with his hard work. Biggest relief for me was the quality appearance by Soriano.

  7. Tcostant - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    The highlight for me was Ramos not dropping either throw on that double play where Harper threw home.

  8. Mr. Doggett - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    I know it happened before the ACL injury, but I feel like the whole kidnapping incident played a big part in this story. Ramos's injury was even more devastating in the wake of the kidnapping. Right when he thought he was through with his troubles, more cropped up. Now, he can finally put all that behind him and start a season off fresh. Not just any season, the most anticipated season in Nats history!

  9. Section 222 - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Great points by Tcostant and by tayo. Holding on to those throws, especially the one from Espi with Stanton barreling down the line was huge. (The strike from Harper wasn't that tough.) My prediction of more games for Ramos than any of beat writers predicted was based on the calculation that Davey may alternate for the first third of the season, but then give Ramos 2 of every 3 games from then on. His bat is just a bigger weapon than Zuk's.

  10. NattieNation13 - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    IKN8wxu2- though I didn't specifically watch for it yesterday, the catcher almost always signals for a location on fastballs (in, out, up, down) and often for breaking balls as well (esp. if they want it in the dirt). Pitchers and catchers are usually on the same page in terms of what sequence of pitches they want to attack hitters with, and what locations the pitcher is most effective. For instance, when Strasburg throws his changeup to left handed batters, it is understood that he will locate the pitch away and have the changeup tail out of the zone, causing hitters to flail and strike out. Ramos may not specifically call for it to be away, but it is certainly understood. If a pitcher does not like a location the catcher has set up in, or he feels there has been a miscommunication, he will step off the rubber and cycle through the signs again, or the catcher will come out to the mound to discuss the pitch they want to make

  11. baseballswami - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    The highlight for me was this — at the introductions, every single player was taking the field at his own position and not one of them was a sub for a player on the dl. Think back to last year with Morse and Drew out for at least half the season, SS on an innings limit, we had no idea what ALR was capable of, no idea when Bryce would be up or how he would adjust. Just having the entire team take the field was awesome. That stability and security had to have been great for SS.

  12. peric - Apr 2, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    but then give Ramos 2 of every 3 games from then on. His bat is just a bigger weapon than Zuk's.Many a Twins fan and their FO made the same prediction about Joe Maurer. And so they gladly sent Wilson Ramos to the Nats for Matty Capps. Looking back do you think they just might regret that decision?Davey and the FO are going to take it really slow with Ramos. And they are right to do so. The risk is still way too high given the extent of his injury. There are plenty and then some of examples of why you do this … Maurer and Posey are just two.

  13. RickH - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    Good point, swami. Having everyone healthy is a nice change from last year!

  14. Section 222 - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    Excellent! Another disagreement with peric that can be objectively settled at the appropriate time. Game 60 is Thursday, June 6 against the Mets. By June 15, I predict Ramos will be playing more than every other game. If they are still splitting the starts 50-50, I will be happy to say I was wrong.

  15. Whack-a-Mule - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Ramos was very solid defensively behind the plateand called a very good game. He shone mentally and physically on the double-play, smartly spotting Polanco too far off the bag and executing a pin-point throw. His handling of the return throw from second base and the smooth continuation tag of Stanton were joys to behold.

  16. 3on2out - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Pedestrian? His slash yesterday was .500/.667/.500.

  17. Steady Eddie - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    222 — interesting prediction. While my head says you may be right on general terms, I would not have put the "start date" for the possibility of more than 50-50 before the ASB. Maybe not even much before August 1. That's where peric's basic point comes in, that it's a long season, ACL surgery for a catcher is a huge thing to come back from, and Davey/Rizzo will want to be very careful about how Wilson's knee plays over time before they even think of increasing his workload. It's likely to come down to a question of, if (hypothetically) Wilson is out-hitting KSuz by 25-30 points, will they go with that, or (with the seriousness of ACLs especially for catchers) will they regard this like the Stras shutdown, and say this is a long-term plan for Wilson's whole career that isn't going to change based on relative performance (unless he's hitting .310 or something like that).

  18. IKN8wxU2 - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    NattieNation13, Thanks for that. I thought that had to be the answer. I know that some pitches almost always have a predetermined location, such as Strasburg's changeup, but others do not (e.g., fastball). Interestingly, I can't find any discussion of this anywhere.

  19. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    I am actually surprised Stanton did not try to bowl Ramos over. Technically speaking, that would be the right thing to do, no?

  20. NatsLady - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Looking at what Colbert did yesterday.Acing Ithttp://ladyandthenats.blogspot.com/2013/04/acing-it.html

  21. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    You can't rollerskate through a buffalo herd.

  22. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    Actually, I think the only decent option Stanton had was to let the pickle play out a bit longer, considering the Ridiculous Bazooka Arm was at second, and Polanco could probably have drawn a throw back to first eventually if he played it well. He *could* have tried barreling through Ramos, but 1) Ramos had the ball, had position, and was set; 2) they are both big guys, and the chances of both of them getting hurt, but particularly Stanton, were not insignificant; 3) I just don't think Stanton is that big a [jerk].

  23. sm13 - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    The last thing Stanton wanted to do on opening day was get injured. He was smart to avoid the collision.

  24. sm13 - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    I think i owe you a drink, sofa.

  25. Section 222 - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    I was surprised Stanton didn't slide. The throw was fairly high and to the 3B side of the bag. A Christian Guzman type slide to the left of home and reaching out to tap the plate with his hand might have evaded the tag. Then again, Adam Dunn never slid much either.

  26. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    I have always thought that the catcher is more at risk than the runner in such a play. How many runners and catchers we have heard of who got injured due to such collisions?Anyways I am glad Stanton did not even try to bowl Buffalo over.

  27. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    A man's got to believe in something. I believe I'll take that drink, sm13!

  28. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    By looking at the picture in this article again, I think Stanton was going to be out no matter what he tried. Ramos was ready for him.

  29. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    A lot of good comments on Ramos and I tend to agree with Sect222 that at some point Ramos will get 3 out of 5 games, but there certainly is no hurry.I also go back to NatsJack's keen thoughts on pitcher preferences which I believe he was correct in and you could tell how strongly Strasburg feels about Ramos as well as JZim, but in a 5 day rotation with no days off then Ramos would catch Gio and Haren in the second time around for the pitchers unless Ramos goes back-to-back with Detwiler and Strasburg.It will be interesting to watch.

  30. Section 222 - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. Candide - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    Glad Wilson wa able to hold on to the ball. Question: Aren't catchers taught that when they have the ball in the mitt, to hold the mitt with the free hand, to lessen the likelihood that the ball can be knocked loose?

  32. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Well, I picked Ramos for the All-Star game; I think he will get enough starts to be realistically considered (and they are going to need at least 3 catchers).

  33. Section 222 - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Good points Steady. But my theory led to a prediction that Ramos would catch 110 games — 30 out of the first 60, 80 out of the next 102. The beat writers predicted between 68 and 106. But maybe, as peric suggests I think, the Nats should go as slow with Ramos as the Giants did with 2012 MVP and now bazillionaire Buster Posey. Guess how many games he started at catcher last year. Drum roll please — 111.April 02, 2013 3:20 PM

  34. tayo - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    I actually think Stanton had a better chance to score on the initial throw from Harper. I guess Harper already has a good reputation to stop runners from tagging when even when the odds might be in their favor.

  35. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    Thought occurs to me, maybe interesting:What if that play had been the other way, with Harper on third and Zim on first? I think Harper probably tries to score on the throw, for one thing, but even if he's forced back and Zim gets in the pickle like Polanco did, I think Harper scores anyway, because he's faster than Stanton, and Donovan Solano's arm is not nearly as good as Espinosa's, and if it's a close play, Brantley probably weighs about 25 pounds less than Ramos.

  36. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    Candide, yes, generally, but by the time this shot was taken, Stanton was already giving himself up.

  37. Section 222 - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Nice thought experiment Sofa. But you forgot the most important factor — Juan Pierre's arm in left field. Harper scores standing up.

  38. natsfan1a - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    Buster also started 29 games at first, which I don't think Ramos will do. :-)

  39. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Yes, everyone runs on Juan Pierre. Even Nyjer Morgan's arm from CF was stronger.

  40. peric - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Well, I picked Ramos for the All-Star game; I think he will get enough starts to be realistically considered (and they are going to need at least 3 catchers).Over Posey? That guy is basically a perennial contender for the MVP? Over Yadier Molina? I think Sofa you may have been drinking too many bourbon and Maalox's. with Sunshine. Or Koolaid. Ramos and Zuck are a tandem that makes an above average NL catcher. Each separately not so much. And let's face it the Nat's brain trust once again making both a canny and cagey move in that they have a better chance of having both catchers available for the playoffs as opposed to the Giants and Cardinals with Posey and Molina starting.

  41. Candide - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    Sec. 3, My Sofa said… Thought occurs to me, maybe interesting: What if that play had been the other way, with Harper on third and Zim on first? I think Harper probably tries to score on the throw, for one thingNo. Harper would have scored from first on Polanco's single.Go ahead, tell me it's impossible.

  42. Tcostant - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    Interesting how no one seems to be up in arms over the fact that Davey Johnson thinks the Nationals are basicly pushing him out the door after this year. I was surprised in the off season when they stated that this would be Davey's last year. Kilgore in the Washington Post wrote a detailed article include a Johnson quote (Obviously, it’s my last year managing the Washington Nationals. The Nationals are more comfortable with that than me, because I don’t really go to that point. I think you basically work till you die.”) that makes it clear he wants to keep managing.I would left Davey manage this team as long as he wanted.Where is the outrage?

  43. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    Talking about catchers, one of Rizzo's smartest moves was converting some kid who was a catcher to become an outfielder. Seems to have worked out nicely!

  44. peric - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    Best two catchers in the NL

  45. peric - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    Buster also started 29 games at first, which I don't think Ramos will do. :-)He's not Joe Maurer at the plate either. He's a catcher … along with Kurt Suzuki.

  46. peric - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    Guess how many games he started at catcher last year. Drum roll please — 111.That's exactly the point both he and Joe Maurer could end up at first base permanently. In the case of Maurer he can always DH albeit the Twins already have a couple of guys they will use in that spot including Josh Willingham.The Nats will take it very slowly with Ramos … they will split games between he and Suzuki to keep both ready for the 2nd season and the playoffs. I expect both to catch around 80 games or so.

  47. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    No. Harper would have scored from first on Polanco's single.DING! DING! DING! Candide FTW

  48. Ghost Of Steve M. - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    Tcostant, if Davey feels like they made the decision for him I could see some motivations to that. Maybe its to give Davey more urgency and in crunch time make some tougher decisions that you are more willing to do when you think its your last year.Bruce Bochy has said he isn't looking to make friends in the post-season and he benches Tim Lincecum (to the bullpen) and goes with Zito. Shocking to most in the baseball world and most of his fanbase and he was right if you look at the results.Bochy caught a lot of grief for it and 3 years ago he benched Zito and it worked.I think Davey has to manage to the point where he may have to hurt some player's feelings. In 162 games you have the freedom to be a nicer guy but in short series you don't have the luxury to do that.There were several debates in starting Espinosa in the playoffs and going with Lannan over EJax who was struggling down the stretch.Coulda, shoulda, woulda.

  49. Candide - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Tcostant said… Interesting how no one seems to be up in arms over the fact that Davey Johnson thinks the Nationals are basicly pushing him out the door after this year.Peter Angelos reads that and probably rubs his hands together, softly says, "Exxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxcellent…"Seriously, what's the argument for telling Davey to take a hike?

  50. peric - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    The Nationals are more comfortable with that than me, because I don’t really go to that point. I think you basically work till you die.Yet, he's also permanently ensconced as a member of the FO right up there with Roy Clark and Rizzo's dad? I suspect this is Davey laying the groundwork for convincing Rizzo et al he has the energy to go another year or so with this team. Note his zeal about ensuring he gets regular IRod-like workouts throughout this season. ~smiles~If I were Davey I'd try to convince IRod to be his personal trainer. Of course IRod in turn would want to get added as the third catcher to the roster. And in Ivan Rodriguez's mind he would be the #1 guy.

  51. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    [Ramos for the ASG] "Over Posey?"Uh, no, and not over Molina, either. I didn't say he'd start, and I did say they'll need more than 2 catchers.

  52. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    It is Mauer, Peric. Also Ramos being in ASG is not same as starting C at ASG. At least that's what I took his post to mean, not that Ramos would start over Posey or Molina.Tcostant, I was always under the impression that Davey wants to retire after this season. I can't imagine why Nats' FO would think of letting Davey go for any other reason.Tayo, there is no way Stanton would have scored on Harper's throw. It was about as good as Ankiel's throw last season, the position being the main difference.

  53. peric - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    IMO the loss of last year's third base coach to the Astro's pretty much makes it fairly easy for Davey to get re-upped should they get to the world series this season. There's no decent replacement in sight in-house.And that may be one of the more interesting aspects of this season that bears watching IMO.

  54. peric - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    It is Mauer, Peric.Thanks Faraz I always spell that wrong and I know one of the old-time Twins broadcasters … ~.laughing~

  55. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    Candide, this would be more like Angelos.

  56. Section 222 - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    That's exactly the point both he and Joe Maurer could end up at first base permanently.Ramos could end up at first too somewhere down the line. So could Sandy Leon. So could Wil Nieves. (Who? Wil Nieves.) So could any catcher. So what? Whether Posey or Ramos ends up at first permanently depends on a whole lot of factors, not whether they catch 81 games or 110 games in their first year back from injury.

  57. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    I was under the impression that Davey said this was his last year, and they'd keep him if he were willing.

  58. peric - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Seriously, what's the argument for telling Davey to take a hike?It ain't happening. He was hired to be part of the FO brain trust first and a manager second. So, if he can prove he is still healthy and viable and there's no risk relative to that one important aspect. Plus he needs to continue to get along with Rizzo, Clark and especially ownership. Other than that? He gets to do it again if he wants. He's just laying the groundwork in Davey Johnson's inimitable style. He likes to do it through the media. ~laughing~

  59. Theophilus T. S. - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Very few catchers catch 130 games any more. One reason is there are more days games after night games. A bigger reason is there are very few catchers w/ indispensable bats in the day-to-day lineup. Mauer and Posey embellish their nos. w/ "days off" at DH/1B, etc. Piazza might have been the last who started (nearly) every day primarily because of his bat. Apart from Posey, B. Molina and Ruiz I can't think of any truly everyday catchers in the NL, and Ruiz is taking an enforced vacation.Which is a long way of saying I would be surprised if either Ramos or Suzuki ends up starting more than 100 games. The position is physically just too stressful to expect close to maximum efficiency from one player on an every day basis. If you had the option to reduce your No. 1 catcher's foul tips off the hands by nearly 50 percent, and the No. 2 catcher didn't hurt you at all in the lineup or on the field, you'd be crazy to throw away the opportunity.

  60. peric - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    Its just his quote about handing it over "to a younger manager with energy" troubles me? Is it a soft jab at Rizzo for losing Bo Porter? There really isn't any other viable candidate in-house? And there really never was much on the inside or outside that constituted a valid replacement. Except for Porter.

  61. EmDash - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    I have no idea what the team will do (I'm bad at predictions), but I like the idea of alternating catchers for most of the year – keeps both guys fresh and engaged, eliminates any potential for strife from 'personal catchers' and the like, and of course keeps Ramos from being overburdened. I don't expect them to pick up Suzuki's option for next year, but I'd still like him to play a significant part this year.The Davey thing is…interesting, and I'm surprised there's not more of a reaction too. I got the impression he and Rizzo (and certainly he and the players) had a good relationship (though I bet Rizzo and Davey do enjoy yelling at each other often, as they both seem like the type), so you have to wonder where that's coming from. "Ownership getting tired of him" seems to be the most common reason from his past, but his history also shows that he's not shy about talking about that kind of thing in public. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out; hopefully there won't be *too* much drama.

  62. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Bo was going to take the Houston job if they offered it, and there wasn't a thing Rizzo could do about it, short of denying the Astros permission to talk to him, and that would be untenable for other reasons. He really didn't have a choice.

  63. Theophilus T. S. - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  64. Candide - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    The problem with Porter is that he's in Houston. If he does an unexpectedly good job, they won't want to let him go. If the Astros stink on ice, who's going to want him?(Actually, I'd like to see the Cubs hire him, based on the run-in he had with Jamie Quirk last year after Quirk yelled some racial stuff at him. Because I've never seen a train wreck…)

  65. Steady Eddie - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    One thing commenters above haven't mentioned re Ramos' tag of Stanton at home is that he went out of his way to do a swipe tag and NOT to try to block the plate or stand on the baseline.Both his catches of Harper's and Espi's throws were made just inside the baseline and not standing on it. Of course, you catch them where they were thrown, but he was not setting up for the catches standing on the baseline. And looking at the second replay, you can see Ramos make the catch from Espi and then dance across the third base line to make the swipe tag standing in foul territory — and had the time to do that little repositioning move. His whole concept seems properly to be the newer Posey swipe tag approach, and not trying to block the plate or the line.How he does it when he doesn't have time to adjust his positioning will be something we will see before long.

  66. Theophilus T. S. - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    Harper's throw had overtaken Stanton by the time he was a third of the way down the line. Maybe he wasn't sincere about trying to score but by that time it was a moot point. He was happy to get back to third. I don't think Ramos can take credit for the throw to first; I think both Espinosa and Strasburg were hollerin' at him. A throw to second might have been a better play — the runner was headed in that direction and Espinosa would have had an easier throw home if Stanton had sudden jolt of courage. Throwing behind the runner necessitated an additional throw to get an out, either way. So Stanton "took advantage" of the additional throw to change his mind. Ramos's catch and tag was perfect. He was inside the base line and out of danger and he was mindful that Stanton was out if he just gave him a love tap with the ball in his glove and didn't have smack him in the chops.

  67. Theophilus T. S. - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    Eddie — Obviously I have endorsed your version of the tag at home. I would add only that the swipe tag is the one thing I am certain Ramos learned from P. Rodgriguez. Pudge was not in the business of self-endangerment.

  68. Laddie Blah Blah - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    "The Nats will take it very slowly with Ramos…"I hope you are right. Suzuki is an excellent backup, so there is no reason to push Ramos now. I don't know why the Nats aren't as careful with their position players as they are with their pitchers. I like both guys. Suzuki was really starting to rake at the end of last season, and adds speed to the catcher position, kind of a baseball rarity. Ramos has more power, but is less disciplined at the plate. Ramos is a sucker for first-pitch low breakers, and regularly kills budding Nats rallies by swinging into easy double plays with men on base. He will learn, but, right now, I would much rather see Suzuki come up to the plate in those situations, where baseball smarts is usually more productive than brute force.Great to see him back, though, after all he has been through.

  69. Section 222 - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    I suppose how much Ramos plays in the last few months of the season will depend in part on how much of a dogfight we're in for the NL East. Last year, from Aug. 4 (the day he was acquired from the A's) through Oct. 1 (the day we clinched), Zuki started 41 of the Nats' 54 games (76%). He started all but 5 of the Nats' 28 games in September (82%).Of course, by the end of August, Flores' slashline was .224/.256/.325 so there's that.

  70. Steady Eddie - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    Actually, another great little detail about that double play I just remembered is LaRoche pointing home just before he threw to Danny, which at least contributed to Danny's gunning it to Ramos immediately. Like that little bunt popup he dropped intentionally last year, his veteran smarts along with his super glove continue to justify bringing him back. A lesser first baseman who had noticed Stanton taking off might have thrown to third or home himself, but ALR baited Stanton into fully committing himself to trying to score. Very cool to see.

  71. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    I was just watching that half inning again and realized that Polanco should not have been on first in the first place. Desmond would have easily gotten the slow-footed Polanco at first, had he cleanly fielded the groundball. That was clearly not a single, should have been an error. Just saying!Eddie, I actually thought the same thing but only about Danny's throw. Ramos seemed to hold back a bit on that play but then again, we might be over-analyzing it. I think we should wait until we see more such plays.

  72. peric - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    I suppose how much Ramos plays in the last few months of the season will depend in part on how much of a dogfight we're in for the NL East.And how his reconstructed knee has held up under the pounding. If he starts getting swelling and soreness? You know what Rizzo and Davey will do. They'll back off on him. It'll likely affect him at the plate as well because for a true catcher the defensive side is more important. And if he starts having issues there …

  73. Section 222 - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    And how his reconstructed knee has held up under the pounding. If he starts getting swelling and soreness? You know what Rizzo and Davey will do. They'll back off on him.Ok, now you're just stating the obvious. Of course they won't ride him if he's showing obvious signs of tiring, or is injured. Nor will they give him more playing time if Suzuki is hitting just as well or better than he is. My prediction assumes he is an asset in the lineup that they aren't willing to sacrifice and he seems physically able to handle an increased workload.

  74. peric - Apr 2, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    I'm sure Rizzo et al soaked in everything Ivan Rodriguez had to say about catching at the major league level and preparing for that challenge. I am certain that the Suzuki trade had a lot to do with what they learned from IRod. Rizzo has a great deal of respect for IRod, he has his uniform jersey hanging up in his office as his first major free agent signing. Hopefully, some of what Ivan told him rubbed off on Ramos. After this major injury it most certainly should be have been taken to heart. To catch as long as he did you have to stay in terrific shape. And please, to those 'roids scoffers? Even with PED's you still have to work extremely hard at keeping that fitness level up.

  75. Steady Eddie - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:08 PM

    FS — I'm not so sure that should have been an error by Desi. My first reaction watching it at the game was that there's no way most shortstops would have gotten to that ball in the first place, which I suspect is why there was no delay at all by the scorers in posting it as a hit (went up within less than 5 seconds of the completion of the play). At first it looked like he just couldn't get close enough to it to make a clean grab, but watching the game replay last night, it bounced off the upper heel of his glove, so hardly beyond his reach. FP said it took a weird hop — I'm not so sure about that — but I think in any case the range thing would still apply, that it was not "ordinary effort" to get there in the first place.

  76. baseballswami - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    I think the split time is great to make sure Ramos can get back to playing without having to push him. If things are going well by mid- season, perhaps Suzuki is a trade candidate. I for one, never thought Ramos would be at this point.

  77. baseballswami - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    Kristina Akra on MLB right now. Weird. Probably check it out to see how she is doing.

  78. Greg - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    I wonder if Suzuki will always work with Gio? Since they have a lot of battery time together from Oakland. Didn't Greg Maddox have his own catcher?

  79. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    Eddie, you may be right about getting to the ball part. on the first viewing, it seemed enough of a slower hit that any SS could get to.

  80. baseballswami - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    I know Davey has said pitchers won't have their own catchers, but….. He has this tendency to change his mind. Gio does great with Suzuki, I always felt JZ did better with Ramos. Time will tell.

  81. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    I agree with you, Swami. It would be nice if pitchers stuck with catchers they like to work with.

  82. Joe Seamhead - Apr 2, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    JonnyVenters shut down for at least a month:http://sports.yahoo.com/news/venters-receives-injection-sprained-elbow-193854575–mlb.html

  83. SonnyG10 - Apr 2, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    Joe Seamhead said…JonnyVenters shut down for at least a month:http://sports.yahoo.com/news/venters-receives-injection-sprained-elbow-193854575–mlb.htmlApril 02, 2013 7:40 PMDon't wish harm on anyone, but I'll take all the advantages the baseball gods provide. Need to make up for what they take from us.

  84. #4 - Apr 2, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    When catchers have time to make a tag with two hands, they put their bare hand inside the glove and grip the ball. This protects their bare hand and better secures the ball. I'm glad to see that Ramos is not setting up in the baseline. Another pretty good catcher who never blocked the plate was Carlton Fisk. He said it wasn't worth the wear and tear on his body. He lasted a long time.

  85. #4 - Apr 3, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    When catchers have time to make a tag with two hands, they put their bare hand inside the glove and grip the ball. This protects their bare hand and better secures the ball. I'm glad to see that Ramos is not setting up in the baseline. Another pretty good catcher who never blocked the plate was Carlton Fisk. He said it wasn't worth the wear and tear on his body. He lasted a long time.

  86. Gonat - Apr 3, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130402&content_id=43701356&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlbUnreal, Robinson Cano left Boras and has joined CAA with their connection to Jay-Z.

  87. Gonat - Apr 3, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    baseballswami said… I know Davey has said pitchers won't have their own catchers, but….. He has this tendency to change his mind. Gio does great with Suzuki, I always felt JZ did better with Ramos. Time will tell. April 02, 2013 6:33 PM ________________________________Then you have Strasburg beaming about Ramos. We will know shortly how this all shakes out. Davey could have Zuk catch Gio, Haren and Detwiler and just have Ram handle Stras and JZ.At some point Ramos will catch back-to-back games.

  88. baseballswami - Apr 3, 2013 at 1:25 AM

    Especially if he continues to show some offense. We love the defensive catchers, but the offense is icing on the cake. Nothing against Suzuki, he seems like a good guy and he obviously works hard, but Ramos seems to be a very natural talent with a high ceiling.

  89. sjm308 - Apr 3, 2013 at 2:08 AM

    Late to this post but I have two thoughts.I think Ramos and Suzuki are a terrific combination and don't understand what the advantages would be to having one play more than the other. I am not saying it should be 81/81 but don't see a huge difference by the end of the season.One game done and already talk about Davey and his plans. Not sure why no one else has mentioned this but they have been grooming Randy Knorr for several years and he has been the bench coach for the last two years and was the AAA manager before that so he has worked with just about everyone on this team. Not sure but I think he would have still been the FO choice even if Porter was still here.

  90. ehay2k - Apr 3, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  91. ehay2k - Apr 3, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    Mark Z., thanks for not having headlines like this one, on WaPo: "Gonzalez: ‘Just move on, look forward’Adam KilgoreAfter an offseason in the spotlight, the Washington right-hander isn’t breaking a sweat entering his season debut."Have we ever had a right-hander named Gonzalez?

  92. baseballswami - Apr 3, 2013 at 2:25 AM

    Perfect game alert in case you didn't know. Yu Darvish for the Rangers vs The Astros and our guy Bo. Strike outs against Ankiel and J Max almost shouldn't count — like shooting fish in a barrel.

  93. NatsJim - Apr 3, 2013 at 2:59 AM

    Shame about Yu, thought he was gonna do it…

  94. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 3, 2013 at 3:13 AM

    yeah, what a heartbreak! He was probably thinking he had that in the bag with 3 pitches to retire first two batters.That would have been first perfect game for first start of the season I believe.

  95. Faraz Shaikh - Apr 3, 2013 at 3:20 AM

    oh and Morse homered earlier, a 3-run shot to give Ms the lead.

  96. Section 222 - Apr 3, 2013 at 4:27 AM

    Guess what? No surprise here, but Bryce Harper's two home run trots on Monday were the two fastest trots in the majors.

  97. Scooter - Apr 3, 2013 at 5:10 AM

    Thanks, 222. I was gonna try to look that up, but I forgot.

  98. Anna Peregrina - Apr 3, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    Confess, how many times have you watched the Harper dingers? I think about 8 in my case ….

  99. natsfan1a - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Knorr managed at single and double A as well.Not sure why no one else has mentioned this but they have been grooming Randy Knorr for several years and he has been the bench coach for the last two years and was the AAA manager before that so he has worked with just about everyone on this team.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

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ATLANTA 72 66 7.0
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NEW YORK 64 74 15.0
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Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
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