Nationals

Quick Links

Confident Ramos beats Bumgarner to continue hot streak for Nats

Confident Ramos beats Bumgarner to continue hot streak for Nats

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Sunday, the Nationals won the most unlikely of games, a 1-0 victory over the Giants despite the fact Madison Bumgarner tossed a two-hit complete game.

Bumgarner could end up with this year's NL Cy Young award and on Sunday he had one of his best outings of the 2016 season.

Yet, with mostly airtight defense and some timely hitting, the Nats were able to escape with a win.

Timely hitting, well, more like one timely hit, as the only real strike the Nats got off Bumgarner was a solo homer by Wilson Ramos in the bottom of the seventh inning. He took an 87 mile per hour slider over the fence in right-center field for his 18th homer of the season. Ramos now has three home runs in his last four games.

"I was calm at the plate. I know Bumgarner has very good pitches," Ramos explained in Spanish. "He did a great job and I focused on waiting on a pitch. He threw me the pitch I was waiting on and I was able to connect on it very well. I didn’t think the ball was going to carry that much because I connected well, but I didn’t think the ball was going to go. Thank God the ball went out and we were able to take the lead."

Ramos now has 10 hits and eight RBI in his last five games. His batting average has soared to .338, which is second in the NL to only his teammate Daniel Murphy, who dropped to .350 in the win.

Ramos made the All-Star team this season and continues to make a significant impact for the first-place Nats. Through six games in August, Ramos has a 1.577 OPS.

"Big Ramos... His confidence level is high, it's real high," manager Dusty Baker said. "He can reach the fences at any part of the ballpark, but he remains within himself and not trying to hit home runs all the time. He is a hitter first, which is evident by his .330-plus batting average, with power. This is how you like guys to think: hitting first, then power."

Ramos agreed with Baker. His confidence level is at an all-time high right now.

"What he said is true. I have a lot of confidence at the moment and I feel very comfortable at home swinging at pitches in the zone. Pitches out of the zone I’m taking. And I feel very comfortable with confidence and I think everything is going well because of that."

As Baker said, he loves Ramos' approach of "hitting first, then power." Seeing him leave the yard, though, is always a positive and not just because it helps the Nats on the scoreboard.

"I love it when he does because he has one of the premier home-run trots in baseball," Baker said.

RELATED: REVERE SAVES THE DAY WITH WILLIE MAYS-LIKE CATCH

SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE NATIONALS STORIES

Quick Links

It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

So if you have not heard, Bryce Harper is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

All off-season talking heads, baseball aficionados, radio hosts, etc. were speculating on where the outfielder’s destination will be next year.

And we are still a year away from it actually happening.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Reporting to spring training on Monday, Harper did not waste any time telling the media how his press conferences were going to play out this season.

“If guys do [ask], or talk anything about that, I will be walking right out the door.”

Entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals, the 25-year-old is coming off the second-best season, statistically, of his career. The 2015 NL MVP has hit .285 in his career, with 150 home runs and 421 RBIs. Unquestionably he is the face of the Nationals’ organization, if not, the best player in the team’s history.

If he does end the season without a contract extension, he will join Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Barry Bonds as the top sought out free agents in MLB history.

One thing is for certain in terms of Harper’s free agency; Harper has given no inclination on where his landing spot will be.  The top three cities are of course his favorite childhood team, the New York Yankees; joining with one of his closest friends with the Chicago Cubs; or just staying with Washington.

Wherever he does land, it does appear that it will be the largest contract given to a free agent ever.

As for now we just wait and direct any of your calls to his agent Scott Boras.

READ ALSO: NATIONALS FULL SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

Quick Links

Nationals Spring Training Schedule 2018

usatsi_9977852.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Nationals Spring Training Schedule 2018

Now that pitchers and catchers have reported, the next step in our long journey to Opening Day is the spring training games themselves. Not every game is televised, so get ready to follow along with your favorite beat writer's Twitter account for all your updates.

Even without getting to watch the games, it'll still be exciting to once again check box scores in the morning to see if Bryce Harper homered again, or if Max Scherzer is perfect through 4 innings (spoiler: both of these will happen).

This year's spring training will be especially interesting, considering how many big-name players will be signing contracts in the next few weeks. The Nats are always willing to make a big splash, and even beyond the available free agents, have been linked to impact players like J.T. Realmuto in trade rumors.

Typically, the excitement of adding a new piece to the roster has to be reignited after a long winter off, but this season, those additions will be happening while camp is already underway.

It's going to be a hectic few weeks as teams prepare for their seasons, so bookmark this page to check on the Nationals spring training schedule over the next few weeks as the team finally takes the field in 2018.

Nationals 2018 Spring Training Schedule

Friday, Feb. 23 - Nationals at Astros, 1:05 pm (MLBN)
Saturday, Feb. 24 - Nationals at Marlins, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Feb. 25 - Braves at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Feb. 26 - Nationals at Braves, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 27 - Marlins at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 28 - Nationals at Marlins, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 1 (SS) - Nationals at Braves, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 2 (SS) - Nationals at Mets, 1:10 pm
Saturday, Mar. 3 - Nationals at Astros, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 (SS) - Tigers at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 (SS) - Nationals at Mets, 1:10 pm
Monday, Mar. 5 - Nationals at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 6 (SS) - Astros at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Wednesday, Mar. 7 - Nationals at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 8 - Mets at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 10 - Nationals at Astros, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 11 - Cardinals at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Mar. 12 - Nationals at Tigers, 1:05 pm (MLBN)
Tuesday, Mar. 13 (SS) - Mets at Nationals, 7:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 15 - Astros at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 16 (SS) - Cardinals at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Saturday, Mar. 17 - Mets at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 18 - Nationals at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Monday, Mar. 19 - Nationals at Marlins, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 20 - Marlins at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Mar. 21 - Astros at Nationals, 1:05 pm (ESPN2) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 22 - Nationals at Mets, 6:10 pm
Friday, Mar. 23 (SS) - Astros at Nationals, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Friday, Mar. 23 - Nationals at Marlins, 7:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 24 - Marlins at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 25 - Cardinals at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MLBN)
Tuesday, Mar. 27 (at Nationals Park) - Twins at Nationals, 4:05 pm