Continued from page 1

“All through this, he’s been hitting the heck out of the ball,” Johnson said. “Catching good, throwing people out. … He’s strong like a bull. He shakes my hand every day before the game. It’s the last person I touch before a game and I feel like I got a meat-grinder on me. But he’s fun to watch. Quality at-bats. And today was an unbelievably good day.”

The streak has represented something more for Ramos, though: a chance, quite simply, to prove he could do it.

“Coming from the knee surgery, this is a good test for my knee — for myself — to show everybody I can play everyday, I can play a lot of games,” Ramos said.

“There’s no question [he’s proven it],” Johnson said. “You can get labeled as injury prone. And for him to come back and catch as good and as often as he has, just proves his point. He’s durable.”

The Nationals will welcome the Atlanta Braves to Nationals Park for three games beginning Monday, the end of a 19-game stretch against losing teams in which they went 14-5. The Reds will visit Houston to play the MLB-worst Astros. Maybe, Johnson said, when the Braves series is over, Ramos will get a day off.

“We’re in the race for the wild card and I want to keep helping the team to win games,” Ramos said. “I lost, last year, the opportunity to play in the playoffs because I had knee surgery and this year I want to help the team to make the playoffs and enjoy that moment.”