Wilson Ramos caught Max Scherzer's 20-strikeout performance on Wednesday night. He also caught both of Scherzer's no-hitters last season. Jordan Zimmermann's no-hitter on Sept. 29 of 2014? Yeah, Ramos was there too, calling the game pitch-by-pitch as he and Zimmermann combined for the first no-no in team history.
Ramos was the common denominator in four of the best pitching performances baseball has witnessed in recent years and they all took place in a span of just over a year-and-a-half. Manager Dusty Baker raved about the backstop on Friday.
"Hey man, that's doing something. He's putting down the right fingers. He's been working a lot with the pitchers because you have to be on the same page. You have to end up being as one. Not just pitcher and catcher, you have to end up being one mind and one body and one person. He's gotten on the same page with these pitchers," Baker said.
Ramos was asked after Wednesday's game if the 20-strikeout performance was the best he had ever been a part of. He couldn't choose.
"It's obviously up there. It just is impressive the way he was attacking the zone against a very good lineup. He just felt like he was in control. Despite the couple of no hitters that I caught, 20 strikeouts is a major league record as well, so it's just as impressive as any of the no-hitters that I've caught," Ramos said through an interpreter.
In addition to his exploits as a catcher, Ramos, 28, is enjoying his best season so far on offense. He is batting .364 with three homers and 13 RBI through 24 games. Next to Daniel Murphy, he has the second-highest average on the Nats.
In 2015, Ramos stayed healthy but struggled at the plate. In 2016, he has shown signs he is turning into the total package.
"I tell you, he's getting better and better," Baker said. "He's working on his skills. He's working on his blocking and he's working on his throwing. This guy, I don't see why he shouldn't be a Silver Slugger, All-Star and Gold Glove. He's on the way."
Long known as a guy who had trouble staying healthy, Baker said he is now finding it hard to keep him off the field.
"I talked to him today. He's a little bothered that he's not catching Gio [Gonzalez]. But I explained to him that it's nothing personal, that it was going on before I got here. [Gonzalez and Jose Lobaton] work good together, plus it means every five days he doesn't have to catch and Loby gets to catch and stay sharp. Everybody wants to play every day, which I like that."