NEW YORK — At about 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday evening, Wilson Ramos jogged out to center field at Citi Field and began his usual pre-game warm-up tosses, readying himself to catch right-hander Dan Haren’s pre-game bullpen session and for his 19th straight game behind the plate for the Nationals.
Ramos’ 2012 season was derailed when he tore up his right knee in mid-May, and his 2013 sputtered out of the gate when a twice-strained left hamstring cost him 58 games on the disabled list.
Now, feeling strong and hitting exceptionally well, Ramos is using the last few months of the Nationals’ season to show the team he can be the horse behind the plate they always hoped he’d become.
“I told Wilson he’s missed two years, so he’s had a lot of rest,” manager Davey Johnson joked. “I told him a week ago ‘I’m going to stay with you. I know you want to play. If you’re tired or anything is bothering you, you let me know and I won’t write you in the lineup.’”
On Wednesday, Ramos walked into manager Davey Johnson’s office and told him he wanted to catch more consecutive games than anyone else in baseball.
He’s got a pretty good shot.
Yadier Molina started 22 straight games behind the plate for the Cardinals from April 17 through May 14. If Ramos starts each of the Nationals’ games through Sunday, he will earn the honors.
“I will do it,” Ramos said with a smile as he shuffled through the dugout on his way to take batting practice.
Since he returned from the disabled list for the second time, on July 4, Ramos has started 48 games for the Nationals. He’s hit .284 and slugged 10 homers while also helping to guide the Nationals’ pitching staff. The team felt so confident in what they had in Ramos that they decided to trade Kurt Suzuki to the A’s on Aug. 22, thrusting the everyday responsibilities on Ramos for good.
Even with Jhonatan Solano and Sandy Leon on the bench in case they’re needed, Ramos has started every game since.
The Nationals will play a day game — which follows a night game — on Thursday in their finale with the Mets this season.
“He’s in there,” Johnson said