Quick Links

Wilson Ramos' first pitch provides special moment for Nats

Wilson Ramos' first pitch provides special moment for Nats

Despite Hurricane Matthew wreaking his havoc far away from Washington, the super storm still affected the Nationals' series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers in that it prevented former Nats pitcher Livan Hernandez from flying in to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. 

The Nationals, with little time to spare, had to go a different route, they had to choose a new person to bestow the honor of kicking off the third playoff run in team history. They ended up settling on a guy who played a pretty large role in them getting to the postseason in the first place.

Despite tearing his ACL in the final week of the season, All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos suited up in his full uniform on Friday and participated in pregame introductions, then tossed a pitch to fellow catcher and Venezuelan Jose Lobaton. While he limped on to the field to make the pitch, the crowd of 43,915 roared and chanted his name 'Wilson, Wilson' to the tune of his famous walk-up song.

"It was great. We had not seen him in a couple days and all of a sudden he showed up," manager Dusty Baker said. "We're all happy to see him and the fans are happy to see him."

[RELATED: Wilson Ramos to have surgery soon, hopes to be back with Nationals]

Ramos has a long recovery ahead of him and one that could lead to his departure from the Nationals. That could have been his final embrace with the fans in Washington as a member of the team. Free agency is looming and he himself has acknowledged his days as a primary catcher in the NL may be over.

Decisions of that sort are months away, though. For now, Baker wants Ramos around as much as possible.

"He brought a lot of life to the dugout and a lot of life to the stadium. There's a lot of love in the stadium going around for Wilson. So I'm hoping that he comes back tomorrow," he said.

Here is a video of the special moment with Ramos:

[RELATED: Nats blow big opportunity by letting Kershaw off the hook]

SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE NATIONALS STORIES

Quick Links

Cubs catcher Miguel Montero to be designated for assignment after angry comments about Nats game

Cubs catcher Miguel Montero to be designated for assignment after angry comments about Nats game

The Washington Nationals were stealing bases all night long against the Chicago Cubs, swiping a total of seven bags in a 6-1 victory on Tuesday.

RELATED: TREA TURNER TIES FRANCHISE RECORD

Following the game, tensions were high for Cubs catcher Miguel Montero who quickly pointed the blame at pitcher Jake Arrieta for the stolen bases. 

Cubs star first baseman Anthony Rizzo addressed the situation, calling Montero "selfish."

Less than 24 hours later, Montero was designated for assignment. 

The Cubs have decided to call up Triple-A catcher Victor Caratini to replace Montero, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.

The Nats may have literally run Montero out of Chicago. 

Quick Links

Trea Turner ties franchise record of stolen bases in single game with Nats 6-1 win over Cubs

Trea Turner ties franchise record of stolen bases in single game with Nats 6-1 win over Cubs

WASHINGTON -- Neither of the past two NL Cy Young Award winners had his best stuff, though Max Scherzer handled things much better than Jake Arrieta.

Scherzer allowed one run and two hits as the Washington Nationals knocked Arrieta out in the fifth inning on the way to a 6-1 victory Tuesday night. While Arrieta was slow to the plate and allowed seven stolen bases, Scherzer (9-5) threw a strong six innings, striking out six with no walks and retiring 16 of the final 17 batters he faced.

"I didn't really have great fastball command tonight, but I was able to use my offspeed to kind of collect outs when I needed to and I didn't walk anybody," said Scherzer, who allowed an earned run in the first inning for the first time since April but was in command the rest of the night. "When we needed shutdown innings we got them."

Arrieta (7-6), on the other hand, struggled with his control as he issued a season-high six walks and allowed five earned runs, getting the hook two batters into the fifth inning. The 2015 Cy Young winner hadn't walked more than three batters in a game this season.

Manager Joe Maddon quipped that the Cubs "let the wrong guys on base," but catcher Miguel Montero blamed Arrieta for all the steals.

"The reason why they were running left and right today because they know he was slow to the plate," a visibly frustrated Montero said. "It really sucked because the stolen bases go to me, and when you really look at it, the pitcher doesn't give me any time."

Four of the Montreal Expos/Nationals franchise record seven steals came from speedy shortstop Trea Turner, who Arrieta called a "factor" any time he's on.

"I don't care who is behind the plate," Arrieta said. "He's a threat."

MORE NATS: 2017 MLB POWER RANKINGS

Washington manager Dusty Baker said the team knew Arrieta was a pitcher to run on, and the result was a lot of small ball for a team accustomed to driving in runs with power. Washington center fielder Michael Taylor went 2 for 4 with two RBIs, and Scherzer washed out the RBI triple he allowed to Kris Bryant in the first by driving in a run with an infield single off Arrieta's glove in the fourth.

When Scherzer was lifted after 93 pitches through six with a comfortable 6-1 lead, the Nationals' beleaguered bullpen got three clean innings of relief from Enny Romero, Blake Treinen, Oliver Perez and Matt Albers.

Trea Turner tied the franchise record with four steals in a game, repeating his own feat from two weeks ago. He had a chance in the eighth to break the record and move within one of the most in a game in the modern era of baseball but did not try with Bryce Harper up and a five-run lead.

"I don't think I was held, but I didn't know if I was supposed to go," said Turner, who has 32 stolen bases this season.