Tag: Wilson Ramos


Max Scherzer gave his catchers Hublot watches for catching his no-hitter and one-hitter


Jordan Zimmermann gave Steven Souza a Best Buy gift card for the catch that saved his no hitter last year. Max Scherzer upped the ante a bit. From James Wagner of the Washington Post:

. . . after Max Scherzer tossed his career first no-hitter on June 20 against the Pirates, he bought catcher Wilson Ramos a little something for his help that day. But Scherzer didn’t stop with Ramos. He also gave catcher Jose Lobaton, who was behind the plate when Scherzer tossed a one-hitter against the Brewers on June 14, the same gift: an elegant Hublot watch.

They’re not cheap, though Wagner does not know which model was given. They retail from between $2,000 and $80,000 or even more for crazy ones.

There are some nice, graceful quotes from Scherzer and his catchers in the article. It’s been a crappy second half for Washington, but this is nice at least.

Denard Span’s return means the Nationals finally have their projected Opening Day lineup

Denard Span

Center fielder Denard Span is off the disabled list after missing the past six weeks with a lower back injury and for the first time all season the Nationals have their planned Opening Day starting lineup available for a game.

Here’s the lineup it took 124 games for the Nationals to have together and healthy:

C – Wilson Ramos
1B – Ryan Zimmerman
2B – Anthony Rendon
3B – Yunel Escobar
SS – Ian Desmond
LF – Jayson Werth
CF – Denard Span
RF – Bryce Harper

That’s a pretty good group, which is a big part of why so many preseason projections had the Nationals running away with the NL East. Instead they’re 62-61 and 5.5 games behind the Mets

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 10.09.10 PM

Blue Jays 12, Angels 5: The Angels are skidding out of it, losing four in a row and falling into third place behind the Rangers. Here the Jays do what the Jays do best: bash the hell out of the opposition. They even spotted the Angels a four-run lead after an inning. I guess you need a handicap sometimes. Edwin Encarnacion went 4-for-4 with a homer and four RBI and the Blue Jays are now back in first place in the AL East. The Jays scored 36 runs in the three-game series.

Indians 4, Yankees 3: Francisco Lindor had three hits including the go-ahead homer in the eighth off of Dellin Betances of all people. He homered and had three hits on Saturday too. Bad news for the Yankees, apart from the fact that they lost this game, was that CC Sabathia was forced to exit in the third inning with right knee pain. That’s the knee he had surgery on last year, ending his 2014 season. He’s going to have an MRI, but he’s almost certain to hit the disabled list. That’ll leave the Yankees with a rotation of Tanaka, Eovaldi, Nova, Severino and Pineda. Which, um, not to be rude or anything, consists of five starters, all of whom have been better than Sabathia this year. Though the big man has had a couple of decent starts this year, maybe this is a blessing in disguise. Or, at the very least, a sink-or-swim moment for the Bombers’ rotation.

Rangers 4, Tigers 2: The Rangers take three of four from a Tigers team which, for half a second, thought it might be righting the ship. Nah. Cole Hamels allowed two runs on eight hits over six innings and Mike Napoli and Chris Gimenez homered. Funny sequence here as Adrian Beltre got ejected for arguing balls and strikes from the dugout. Except Beltre claimed it wasn’t him barking, it was Prince Fielder. Who, quite conveniently, had the day off yesterday. Even Fielder, quite conveniently, claimed it was him barking. Beltre:

“My teammate over there (Fielder) was the one who said something — he even said, ‘It was me, 84,’ but I guess I was the ugly one and got thrown out,” Beltre said. “I don’t know if he confused 84 with 29, we’re always wrong, the players. Umpires are always right.”

Then manager Jeff Banister was ejected for arguing and for not sending Beltre out of the dugout following his ejection. All kinds of lulz here, made all the funnier when you’re winning the game.

Diamondbacks 4, Reds 0: The Reds get swept, losing their ninth straight game. Chase Anderson threw shutout ball into the seventh inning. Not bad for a guy who was optioned to the minors on Tuesday and only was in this one because Jeremy Hellickson got hurt. But then again, it may be harder to face a Triple-A team than the Reds right now. At least the Triple-A team hasn’t given up.

Phillies 2, Marlins 0: Trading away all the guys who made the Phillies great for a few years has really sucked, but Phillies fans have to be at least somewhat optimistic about the future when they see stuff like Aaron Nola pitch eight dominant innings. Three hits, no runs and only one opposing runner advancing beyond first base. That’s the thing about a last place year: there’s always something to latch on to. Something that let’s you say “you know, it’s gonna be better.” And even if it doesn’t get better for a while, I think some of the purest joy of being a major league baseball fan is seeing some young kid come up and figure it out in the bigs. Some days he’s lost, some days he’s not, but when he puts a nice outing together like this, you don’t think about the losses. You don’t think about contracts and possible trades. You just think “look at this kid!” There’s always another kid to give you hope like that.

Twins 4, Orioles 3: Manny Machado was a shortstop prospect, but found his home at third base thanks to a combination of injuries and J.J. Hardy being too good to move off the position. Yesterday, after some substitutions, he played short for the first time in the bigs, taking the position in the twelfth inning and it cost Baltimore when he misplayed an Eduardo Escobar grounder, allowing Escobar to reach second base. Then Jimmy Paredes, playing Machado’s usual position at third base, made an error which allowed the go-ahead and eventual winning run to score. Hardy is hitting the DL now thanks to a groin injury. Miss U already, J.J. The Twins sweep the O’s in the four-game series.

Royals 8, Red Sox 6: The Royals mounted a four-run rally when they were down two in the ninth to win 8-6. Could’ve been more but leadoff hitter Omar Infante was thrown out at home trying to stretch a triple into an inside-the-park homer. Junichi Tazawa probably think he dodged a bullet with that, but three of the next four batters singled and then Eric Hosmer knocked in two of them in with yet another single. Following a walk, Mike Moustakas doubled in two more. Moustakas had four RBI on the day with an earlier RBI double and a homer as well.

Nationals 9, Brewers 5: On Friday Yunel Escobar collided with a fan while tracking down a foul ball and hurt his neck. That caused him to be out of this game, allowing Danny Espinosa to hit a three-run, go-ahead double in the third inning. Anthony Rendon and Wilson Ramos homered. The Nats are still five games back, though, because the Mets . . .

Mets 5, Rockies 1: . . . won their third in a row, sweeping the Rockies. Logan Verrett, making a spot start for Matt Harvey, looked a lot like Matt Harvey, at least in the box score, allowing one run over eight innings, striking out eight. Only five runs for the Mets after scoring 28 in the previous two games, though. Must be slippin’.

Astros 3, Dodgers 2: Jason Castro smacked a walk-off homer in the bottom of the tenth. This was the Astros’ fourth walkoff win in eight games. More importantly, it was the series sweep over the Dodgers, keeping their lead in the West at four over the surging rangers and five and a half over the other Los Angeles team.

Cubs 9, Braves 3: Five homers for the Cubs, two of which came off of Kris Bryant’s bat. Dexter Fowler, Miguel Montero and Kyle Schwarber went yard as well. A scary moment here, however, as a fan was sent to the hospital after being hit by a foul ball. The second such incident in as many days.

Athletics 8, Rays 2: It was a close game until the bottom of the seventh when the A’s put up a seven-spot. Makes me think of a 7 and 7, which I remember my parents making for people at weird parties they held in the 70s but which I’m pretty sure no one drinks anymore. Hell, you can hardly find 7-Up anyplace anymore. What the hell happened to 7-Up? It was the un-cola.

Mariners 8, White Sox 6: Robinson Cano had a two-run homer and Nelson Cruz drove in two with a double. The M’s avoid a three-game sweep. Cano on why it’s nice to avoid a three-game sweep with a Sunday win:

“Like I told the guys in the dugout, it’s good to end it up with a happy Sunday,” Cano said. “You can have a nice evening. You don’t have to go to bed and, `What do we have to do win a game?”

Better yet, you can avoid a case of the Mondays.

Cardinals 10, Padres 3: Four runs in the first inning are all the Cards would need but they added six more anyway. Stephen Piscotty homered twice and drove in five. The Cards avoid a sweep and a case of the Mondays too.

Pirates 5, Giants 3: The Pirates scored three first-run innings off of Ryan Vogelsong and never trailed. Homers from Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez gave them a greater margin for error later. Not that they needed it. The Giants scored two unearned runs and the Pittsburgh bullpen allowed jack squat from the sixth inning on. The Pirates are only three and a half games back of the Cardinals now.

The Giants attempted to pick off Bryce Harper by bringing in their center fielder

Bryce Harper

The Giants lost four games in a row heading into Saturday afternoon’s game against the Nationals. Sometimes, you need to get creative to get off the schneid.

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper had doubled in the seventh inning against reliever Yusmeiro Petit to put runners on second and third with no outs for Wilson Ramos. After a first-pitch strike, Giants center fielder Gregor Blanco started jogging in towards the infield. Alertly, Ramos got Harper’s attention and told him to get back to the second base bag. Petit’s throw was a bit high but Harper would have gotten back safely no matter how good the throw was.

The Nationals ended up scoring three runs in the inning en route to a 9-3 victory, sending the Giants to their fifth straight loss.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Manny Machado

Orioles 19, Phillies 3: Well that was thoroughly ridiculous. The Orioles set a franchise record with eight homers in this one., with Manny Machado and Chris Parmalee each hitting two. Of course the highlight of this — or was it the lowlight? — was Jeff Francoeur coming in and pitching two innings, about which we’ll have more to say later this morning. Or maybe the lowlight was the Phillies’ bullpen phone being off the hook, preventing Ryne Sandberg from getting anyone else to warm up when Frenchy was clearly laboring. Or maybe it was when Chase Utley was quite visibly mad at Sandberg when he was on the mound talking to Francoeur to see if he could get more pitches out of him. Either way, for every bit as uplifting and hilarious this was from the Orioles’ perspective, it was pathetic and awful from the Phillies’ perspective. I’d say it’s the kind of game that gets managers fired, but to be honest, I can’t say I’ve ever seen this kind of game before.

Cardinals 3, Twins 2: For as much as I wanted to wake up this morning and write about how the Cardinals went up there hacking, I can’t, because they only struck out four times and didn’t hit any homers. Maybe the greatest disappointment for me, personally, in the 2015 baseball season. You only get so many shots at zingers like that, an when they fail to present themselves it’s really disheartening.

Astros 8, Rockies 5: Luis Valbuena, however, took his hacks, hitting two homers and knocking in four. But really, it’s not just the same here. Sure, I could maybe make some contrived “victim takes ownership and control over the crime that befell them,” analogy, but that’s tortured even for me. Anyway, Valbuena has 41 hits this season, 16 of which are homers. After the game Hank Conger said “This guy is like the kid who only hits homers.” Which I’m pretty sure was a rejected Donald Westlake book title from 1979. He still wrote the book, but it ended up way, way too dark so he slapped his Richard Stark pen name on it and turned it into a Parker book. As usual, the movie adaptation was lacking.

UPDATE: I had no idea this existed, but multiple people have mentioned it now:


That kid HAD to have been given a bunt sign once or twice, right? Took one the other way once in a while in order to take what the pitcher was giving him? Or is this a steroids story? So many questions.

Athletics 6, Padres 5: Eric Sogard drove in the go-ahead in a tie game in the ninth inning off Craig Kimbrel to spoil Pat Murphy’s managerial debut. Murphy was Sogard’s college coach. Not going to go back and read any background on them because I’m going to choose to believe that they had a falling out once and this was a student-comes-back-and-kills-his-old-sensei-for-reasons-we’ll-never-know situaish.

Giants 6, Mariners 2: The first Giants home win in ten tries. Matt Duffy hit a two-run homer and added an RBI single. He also said after the game that the win came following a team conversation:

“We had a little discussion about it today. These fans are too good for us to be playing the way we have been at home.”

In other news, most of human experience can be described as dealing with an inherently chaotic and random universe by attempting to craft fictions in which we portray ourselves as having agency and control.

Red Sox 9, Braves 4: The losing streak ends and Brock Holt hits for the cycle. If I was a member of the Boston media I’d write a straight-faced column this morning wondering why Holt couldn’t have hit a second double instead of that single and ask whether it means his focus is lacking. It could cause Dustin Pedroia to explode and that would be sort of fun. Julio Teheran gave up six earned runs on 13 hits. I can’t remember the last pitcher I saw who, when he was good he was fine, but when he was off got totally tattooed as much as Teheran get tattooed.

Pirates 3, White Sox 0: The Pirates shut the White Sox out for the second straight game. This time it was Charlie Morton who led the way, with seven scoreless innings. Morton’s ERA is 1.62. The Pirates, in fact, have three starters with ERAs under 2.00.

Reds 5, Tigers 2: Todd Frazier had two homers and Jay Bruce added one. There was an odd replay after a play at the plate on Anthony Gose in this game that (a) took a long time; and (b) seemed to go the wrong way. After the game, Brad Ausmus voiced his frustration at the way replay has gone this year:

“I definitely think that instant replay has regressed this season,” he said. “I thought for the most part, they changed calls in order to get the play right, and they did that on a regular basis.

“I’m not seeing that this year.”

His comments on that closely mirrored what I had to say about this yesterday: that replay officials are giving too much deference to the call made on the field as opposed to simply making the better call from their better vantage point.


Mets 3, Blue Jays 2: The good Matt Harvey made an appearance, shutting out the best offense in baseball for seven innings and striking out six. Not that the Blue Jays’ efforts were in vain. Kevin Pillar helped provide a teachable moment to all the little leaguers out there: never forget to look to your third base coach. Or at third base, for that matter, as someone may be standing on it when you try to advance there.

Marlins 12, Yankees 2: Nathan Eovaldi returned to Miami and did more for the Marlins last night than he did all last year, really. The Fish scored eight off of him in the first inning ending this one before it began. Giancarlo Stanton hit a three-run homer in the fifth giving him 24 on the year. Maybe if he hits more he’ll pass Nori Aoki in the All-Star voting.

Nationals 16. Rays 4: Jeff Francoeur may have gotten all the headlines for position players pitching last night, but the Rays used two position players on the mound: Jake Elmore and Nick Franklin. Wilson Ramos homered off of each of them in this rout. Things got pretty wild last night, man.

Rangers 3, Dodgers 2: The Rangers coughed up a two-run lead in the top of the ninth when Josh Turner hit a two-run bomb, but Robinson Chirinos got it back with a walkoff homer. Before the Turner homer, Rangers starter Chi Chi Gonzalez was going for a shutout. In other news, I can’t tell you how happy I am that we have a Chi Chi playing major league baseball.

Indians 6, Cubs 0: Trevor Bauer tossed seven shutout innings and Carlos Santana drove in four with a three-run homer and an RBI double. Santana also walked twice, helping end a personal skid. Or maybe just interrupting it. Recall what I said above about an inherently chaotic and random universe? Part of dealing with that also involves grafting artificial end-points onto a never-ending river of time.

Royals 7, Brewers 2: Chris Young pitched well (7IP, 5 H, o ER) and drove in three at the plate on two RBI singles. Royals fans suddenly vote him ahead of Mike Trout as the ninth starter in the All-Star Game.

Angels 4, Diamondbacks 1: Two-run homers from Albert Pujols and David Freese was all the Angels needed, but they also got seven strong innings from Garret Richards in which he allowed only one unearned run. The game story leads with stuff about how Mike Scioscia switched the lineup around to put Pujols in the cleanup spot. Pujols will not hear about that meaning anything:

“You don’t change your approach because of where you’re hitting in the lineup. It doesn’t matter if you hit eighth, leadoff … you’ve still got to go out there and play. I wish you guys flip that page and stay focused on the things we have to concentrate on, and that’s winning — not about where I hit, or Trout hitting third. I mean, if that’s your wish, you got it tonight.”

Prediction: a future Hall of Famer explaining in no uncertain terms that hitters don’t change their approach based on where they are in the lineup will do nothing to stop the media from claiming that hitters change their approach based on where they are in the lineup. Why? Probably because, in addition to (a) attempting to craft fictions in which we portray ourselves as having agency and control; and (b) grafting artificial end-points onto a never-ending river of time, we deal with a hostile and uncaring universe by telling ourselves that we truly matter and that our place in it gives us importance merely by our occupying it. “I’m a baseball writer,” the baseball writer thinks, “and if I say something, it must be insightful and true, even if it is demonstrably not.”

Man. Today got kind of existential. Not sure why. I’m guessing Francoeur pitching had something to do with that. Really threw my ju-ju off.