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Harper reaches base twice, Ramos homers at Potomac

Jun 23, 2014, 10:41 PM EDT

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WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Bryce Harper reached base in both of his plate appearances, and Wilson Ramos went 3-for-4 with a 3-run homer Monday night in a rehab game with Class A Potomac for both members of the Nationals’ starting lineup.

Harper, making his first game appearance since tearing a ligament in his left thumb on April 26, singled to left field in the bottom of the first and then battled back from an 0-2 count to draw a walk off Salem right-hander Justin Haley.

“I felt good,” he said. “I thought I had two pretty good AB’s. I just want to see pitches. If I can work deep in counts and see more pitches, that’s huge for me. If I strike out or walk, that’s fine, too. I just want to see a lot of pitches.”

The 21-year-old star played three innings in left field, successfully catching the only ball hit his way before departing as planned. He’s scheduled to play five innings here in center field Tuesday as Nationals officials prepare him for the likelihood of bouncing around all three outfield positions as part of a rotation with Ryan Zimmerman, Denard Span and Jayson Werth once he comes off the disabled list.

Harper admitted he’d prefer to stick to one position for the rest of the season but understands circumstances may not allow that.

“I kind of like it, and I kind of don’t, because I want to get comfortable in one spot,” he said. “I think I got in a little trouble last year playing right field and getting hurt. Just trying to stay in one spot would be great, but with the outfield we have, I don’t think that is going to happen.”

Just as Zimmerman has done since returning from his own thumb injury, Harper wore a mini over mitt over his left hand when on the bases Monday. He’ll continue to do that until there’s no more danger of further injury.

“Me and Ryan, we’re going to go bake,” he joked.

The Nationals plan to take things slow with Harper. After his planned 5-inning game Tuesday, he’ll take a day off, then join another minor-league affiliate — possibly low-Class A Hagerstown — later this week and build himself up more. If all goes well, he would be on track to come off the DL early next week when the Nationals host the Brewers, either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Ramos, on the other hand, feels like he could rejoin the Nationals lineup right now if only he was allowed. He won’t be eligible to come off the 15-day DL from his hamstring strain until Thursday, so he’ll play nine innings for Potomac once again on Tuesday, then fly to Chicago on Wednesday in hopes of playing Thursday night at Wrigley Field.

“I want to play tomorrow here, get better,” he said. “I know I have to complete those 15 days out, but I’m ready now. If they called me up, I’m ready now. But for me, it’s better if I play tomorrow here, get more at-bats and try to be more ready for Thursday.”

After clubbing a 3-run homer to right field in his rehab debut Saturday at Class AA Harrisburg, Ramos did it again Monday, launching another 3-run shot just inside the right-field foul pole moments after Harper singled in the bottom of the third. He followed that up with a fifth-inning single, then an eighth-inning double.

“I just told him: ‘You’re terrible,’ ” Harper joked. “It’s good to see him doing well. We need Willy up there. He’s one of the best-hitting catchers in the league when he is hot. It’s good to see him going.”

  1. Danny - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    What’s Ramos have 6-7 homers in the minors this year? Would be nice to brings those bombs to the big club.

  2. Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:28 PM

    Man, it’ll be nice to gdt tha buffalo backn

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:03 AM

      Let’s try that again, this time in English:
      Man, it’ll be nice to get the Buffalo back.

      • pburm9qp - Jun 24, 2014 at 4:21 AM

        I thought you said buffalo bacon at first… which actually sounds like it could be delicious.

      • Joe Seamhead - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:04 AM

        Wow, I can almost smell the bacon! Bring it on!

      • natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:23 AM

        I heard that Ramos brought buffalo bacon for everyone at the postgame spread.

      • RPrecupjr - Jun 24, 2014 at 9:51 AM

        I’m still waiting for my shrimp….you activated the launch sequence, Sofa…..need ice cream and shrimp

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 24, 2014 at 10:29 AM

        Shrimp bisque ice cream with buffalo bacon and beer. Mmmmmm…

    • realdealnats - Jun 24, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      Sofa–
      You have such a wide context of knowledge and such an eclectic sense of humor–both of which I enjoy immensely–that you had me puzzling over this idiomatic nonsense for about 30 seconds before I moved down to read the translation.

  3. Scooter - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:52 AM

    I know this story isn’t about the game, but it’s driving me nuts:

    The P-Nats won, 5-2.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 24, 2014 at 1:24 AM

      +1

    • natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:22 AM

      Atta way, P-Nats! Did everybody leave after Harper was out of the game? No, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.

  4. Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 24, 2014 at 1:46 AM

    And bend your knees when you bunt.

    • ArVAFan - Jun 24, 2014 at 6:37 AM

      Yeah, look at Fister when he bunts. That’s a lot of bending.

  5. natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:25 AM

    An Easy-Bake oven would be just about right for that, I think.

    ===

    Just as Zimmerman has done since returning from his own thumb injury, Harper wore a mini over mitt over his left hand when on the bases Monday. He’ll continue to do that until there’s no more danger of further injury.

    “Me and Ryan, we’re going to go bake,” he joked.

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:57 AM

      Gonna need the Buffalo Bacon mitts, they’ll be so hot.

  6. nattyboh1 - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:37 AM

    I think it will be the Rockies we are hosting Mon-Wed next week. Hopefully Bryce can make it back for his bobblehead day on Monday – I’ll be there early!

    Oh, and the upcoming schedule on the sidebar appears to be wrong as well.

  7. dcwx61 - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:24 AM

    why a sunday day off
    Did chicago reinstate blue laws ?
    why not take the whole weekend for shabaz
    I don’t bowl on shabaz, dude

    • ArVAFan - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:34 AM

      The city of Chicago asked the Cubs to move the game to Saturday night, since Sunday is the Gay Pride Parade in the same area of the city. They were worried about transit capacity. So there you have it: the world has changed a lot since the last time the Cubs won a World Series.

      I’ll be at the Friday and Saturday games. For the Sat. evening game, we’ll be close to the Nats dugout, second row. I’ll be wearing a red curly W t-shirt (imagine that), and my beige Spring Training hat. You know, so you can wave if you see me on the video.

      • dcwx61 - Jun 24, 2014 at 9:56 AM

        Thanks!!
        Couldn’t schedule it for a rare weekend when the cubs are away.
        Oh well..1908 seems a long time ago now but maybe not.
        They didn’t play on Sundays back then either.

  8. natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    Mark Zuckerman @ZuckermanCSN · 21h

    For everyone asking why Sat. #Nats #Cubs doubleheader, off Sun.: Chicago Pride Parade in area on Sun., city asked them to change schedule.

    • ArVAFan - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:37 AM

      I think I owe Mark a beer. Or maybe he owes me one. But since he’s the host, I owe him.

      • natsfan1a - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:40 AM

        I cut and pasted that from Mark’s tweeter feed at the top of the page, but you don’t owe me anything. :-)

    • dcwx61 - Jun 24, 2014 at 10:33 AM

      No cubs pride this year so it makes sense

  9. thelatencn - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    Isn’t it great that we won both ends of yesterday’s split squad games?

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:58 AM

      Yeah, and look at Fister when he splits–Man, that’s a lot of splitting.

  10. Section 222 - Jun 24, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    Last night was a Davey Johnson/Earl Weaver throwback win — A 3-run homer and good pitching will do it every time. Gio should get a lot of credit for battling through the wildness and putting zeros up on the board 6 times. Let’s remember, he was on the DL for a month, this was only his second start since his return. The Nats are 2-0 in those two games. That’s the win stat that matters.

    • jd - Jun 24, 2014 at 10:16 AM

      Deuces,

      I loved last night’s game. I don’t even have my computer on during the games. I don’t feel the need to share my reactions to every success/failure/ move/call with the universe. I think the perspective is better after the fact any way.

      Weren’t Storen and Clip just filthy last night? any one who doesn’t see how great our pen is this year is missing something very special. It’s not every year you see such a dominant bunch.

    • dcwx61 - Jun 24, 2014 at 10:32 AM

      +1 I do feel the need to comment even though it’s on the clock.

    • realdealnats - Jun 24, 2014 at 11:40 AM

      222–
      I was thinking the same thing last night. All those great great O’s pitching staffs propelled by 3-run homers. (Like Ramos in Potomac last night and Adam in Milwaukee). I was also thinking of their outfields over the years with Blair in center (not a terrifying hitter) and for some of those years the rotation in left with Crowley etc (guys who were better hitters than fielders). (We seem to be heading that way a bit with Zim rotating and Werth aging in left–but with Harp and Span’s fielding to offset Zim’s learning curve). And for most of that time the O’s consistent power being delivered by Boog, Brooks (depending on the year), and Frank. Not sure this year’s Nats has a Boog or a Frank at the plate, but we have legitimate hitters especially when Harp and Ramos return making everyone better up and down the line. And the O’s great defense up the middle no matter if it was Aparicio or Belanger or Davey and Blair etc… And those staffs. (We’ve certainly got the staff, no doubt about it.)

      I really think, with Rizzo at the helm, we have a shot at being a long term team to fear. Fister has been indispensable in pulling this staff together. Roark, who I pulled for all winter here to be #5, is so gritty. And with JZimm returning to form. Stras is judged harshly, but one reason is b/c of the hype and his mental toughness and most importantly he still another level to attain–and through the toughening process I think he will. It’s that rare level of Koufax and the Big Unit he has at least the possibility of attaining. It’s like every game he leaves one pitch up and over, and that’s the two run tater that kills him for that game. If the team could supply him with more runs, especially early, once in a while, and not rely on him to pitch a perfect game–which he already expects of himself and gets upset about when he does hang one or when somebody drops a ball on him–and when he gets a little luckier–like Gio was last night with a lot of those 3rd out fly balls–then he’s capable of making a staggering leap into the elite. Gio needs to toughen up a bit too, and it was nice to see him not give those 3 runs back the very next inning. He really did tough it out last night. Honestly I don’t care if Gio’s 110+ pitches gets him past the 5th inning if he has a goose egg or just a single run on the board. This BP is stron enough to work with that. And how great is this BP?

      Anyway sorry for rambling…work carries me away for hours and days at a time so I often just unload on you guys w/o meaning to. Call it irrational exuberance.

  11. dcwx61 - Jun 24, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    could be some of the best pitching since the 08 cubs ???

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140624&content_id=81289020&vkey=perspectives&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

  12. wearenationals - Jun 24, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    He maybe playing at Harrisburg

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