Let’s get the blown-call quotes out of the way early in this entry.
Hey, Wilson Ramos, did Neil Walker tag you before flipping to first for what second base umpire Laz Diaz ruled was a game-ending double play?
“Nope. Not even close,” Ramos said. “He never tagged me.”
What did Diaz tell you when you argued the call, Wilson?
“He told me, ‘He tagged you. I don’t hear, but I saw it,’ ” Ramos said. “I said, ‘Sure, you didn’t see anything. Not even close.’ But I don’t know, maybe he want to go home.”
Denard Span, you have any thoughts on the matter? You were running to first on the play and had a view of the questionable (but not really) call.
“Neil Walker charged the ball, tried to tag him, and when he didn’t tag him, you can even tell by the way his effort was to even throw it to first, he was just trying to get an out with me,” Span said. “It was not even close, and that’s too bad that Laz missed it.”
OK, we’ve got all that covered now.
Ramos has been behind the plate each of the last three times Drew Storen has toed the rubber in a game, and all three times, Storen has either allowed an inherited run to score or a run to score that ended up being charged to him.
Storen’s ERA sits at 5.40 after he allowed three runs in tonight’s loss.
“For me, it’s location,” Ramos said when asked about Storen’s main issue. “He has to concentrate a little bit more. For me, he has to do that. Got a good arm, got good stuff. He just needs to go out there and get confidence. Trust himself, throw the ball the best he can.
“Sometimes, when the players don’t hit well, don’t pitch well, we’re thinking too much. For me, for example, sometimes when I’m not hitting well, I go to play and I’m thinking too much. When we thinking too much, we will do the same. He has to concentrate and don’t think too much. Just take the ball and throw it.”
That same line of thinking can be applied to the offensive struggles, Ramos said.
“Yeah, for me right now, everybody want to wake up,” Ramos said. “We have to keep fighting. We have to keep fighting and help the pitcher win the game. I know we don’t hit pretty good right now, but we’ve got pretty good talent on this ballclub, so we’ve got a couple more games coming and we try to do our best.”
Span gave credit to Pirates starter Francisco Liriano, who he played with in Minnesota, for how he threw the ball tonight.
“We faced a tough Liriano today,” Span said. “Yesterday, we faced a tough pitcher. We’ve been facing a lot of tough pitchers lately, so you’ve got to give them a little bit of credit. Still no excuse for why we haven’t been hitting the ball, but we got to find a way to do better. There’s no excuse.”
How can the Nats stay positive at this point when their offense is struggling so badly and they’ve lost so frequently in the last few weeks?
“The good thing about baseball is that we play every day,” Span said. “My middle name is ‘grind,’ so for me, all of us, we just got to come with a new mindset every day and just hope that when we get to the ballpark that day, we’re going to break out of the slump that we’re in and just start playing baseball the way we know we can play.”
For the record, Denard Span’s middle name is Denard. True story.