May 7, 2014, 8:03 PM EST
Returning to the Nationals after a five-week absence from a broken hamate bone he suffered on Opening Day, Wilson Ramos didn’t wait long to remind the team of his impact.
At the plate against his former battery mate, Dan Haren, in the first inning, Ramos smoked the first pitch he saw off the wall in left-center field for a standup double. One pitch and Ramos was back making a difference in the Nationals’ lineup.
“It didn’t take him long, did it? He pounded that ball,” Adam LaRoche said. “Great to have him back and more importantly to have him healthy. He said he felt great in his rehab starts. And knock on wood, hopefully we can keep him out there and put an end to these injuries.”
Ramos said he wasn’t nervous at all to take the field in his first MLB game in over a month.
“That’s not the first time I came back from the DL. I was very excited today, I was waiting for this moment for like five weeks. I’m happy to be here, I’m happy to be back on the team.”
Ramos noted his familiarity with Haren, and how that may have helped him be more aggressive from the start.
“I was looking for something in the zone, something around the zone. He threw me the pitch right down the middle and I swung at it. I know Haren, I know how he likes to pitch. I was waiting for one pitch in the zone and he threw it to me and I hit it hard.”
Ramos also drove in the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning. With the game tied at two, Ramos walked up to the plate with the bases loaded and one out. He got a standing ovation from the crowd before poking a fly ball to right field. Span was safe despite a decent chance for Yasiel Puig to make the throw at the plate.
“I was waiting for something in the zone, he threw it to me. I try to do my job every time I am at the plate, and that’s what I did. I was looking for something to try and hit the ball to the outfield and he threw fastball out, and that’s the best pitch to try and hit to the outfield. I am excited because I like to help the team to win games.”
Ramos was cheered loudly during pregame introductions and each time he took the plate during Wednesday’s 3-2 win. Afterwards he spoke glowingly about their support for them not only this season, but in the past as he has dealt with numerous injuries and stints on the disabled list.
“That made me excited because all the fans give good support to me this season, last season and 2012 too. Every time I come out there the fans clap hands, every time I go out I am excited. That’s the reason every time I go out there and they say, ‘hey can you sign the ball for me?’ Why not? I do it and I like to give to the fans.”
Ramos finished the day 1-for-2 with a double, an RBI and a walk. He also caught a full nine innings and says his left hand held up fine.
“It’s good, it’s just a little bit sore like the doctor said, that it would be sore for a while. But it’s not bad, it’s not bad. I can go out there and play. I want to keep doing that.”
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
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