Prior to today, the last time Wilson Ramos was on the field at the Great American Ballpark, he wasn’t able to walk off under his own power.
Ramos tore the ACL and meniscus in his right knee last May 12 in a game against the Reds, a devastating injury that knocked the Nationals’ young catcher out of action for the remainder of the season and led to months of grueling rehab.
Now fully healthy, Ramos has replaced that nasty memory with a much more positive one.
Ramos crushed a two-run homer to left-center with two outs in the sixth inning, giving the Nationals a 4-1 lead over the Reds.
It’s Ramos’ first home run since - ironically enough - that May 12 game last year in Cincinnati, and makes him 3-for-7 with three walks this season.
In five career games at the Great American Ballpark, Ramos now has four homers and seven RBIs. Outside of that terrible injury, Ramos has fared pretty well in Cincinnati.
He’s given the Nats a little breathing room over the Reds, and he’s surely given himself yet another reason to smile after what’s been a very successful spring for the 25-year-old.
Ross Detwiler, meanwhile, is now through six innings, having allowed just a single run. That run was uneared.
Detwiler has thrown 82 pitches through six, but given the way manager Davey Johnson likes to handle his starters early in the season, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him go to his bullpen to start the seventh inning.
Update: I’m not sure what aspect of Jayson Werth’s home run in the top of the seventh was more impressive - the powerful stroke that crushed the ball out over the right-center field fence, or the left-handed catch by the fan holding a baby in his right arm.
Werth kept his hands inside the ball nicely and crunched a first-pitch Sam LeCure fastball out to right-center for his second homer of the season. His wrist appears to be just fine, all right.
The fan who snatched the home run ball will surely make the highlight reels tonight, but he might get a stern talking-to from his wife for not getting the baby out of the landing zone. From what I saw, though, looks like the guy knew just what he was doing.
It’s now 5-1 Nats as Tyler Clippard comes in to work the bottom of the seventh.
Update II: Clippard worked a perfect seventh, but Drew Storen got into some trouble in the eighth and it’s now a 5-3 game as we go to the ninth.
Ian Desmond committed his second error of the game and his fourth of the season, allowing a ball to get through his legs, scoring a run, and Bryce Harper then overthrew the catcher to let the Reds put the potential tying run in scoring position. Storen then was able to bring an end to the Reds threat, however, by striking out Xavier Paul to end the inning.
The game’s a little tighter for Rafael Soriano as he tries to put an end to this one.
Update III: Soriano couldn’t hang on to a two-run lead, serving up a leadoff homer to Shin-Soo Choo and then throwing a (very) wild pitch that brought in Joey Votto from third with the game-tying run.
Votto had reached on a one-out triple that was about two feet from leaving the yard. He only needed to wait one more pitch to touch home plate, however. Soriano’s first offering to Brandon Phillips was a slider that he pulled so far that it bounced in the left-handed hitter’s batter’s box and rolled to the backstop.
It’s 5-5 as we go to the 10th inning.