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Ramos shines on special Mother's Day in Nats' comeback win


Ramos shines on special Mother's Day in Nats' comeback win

When your teammate hits five home runs in three days including a walk-off shot the night before, it's easy for accomplishments to go overlooked. Just because a player doesn't make history, doesn't mean he isn't having a heck of a few days himself.

Wilson Ramos, for one, has been swinging the bat about as well lately as he has at any point in his six-year MLB career. In Sunday's 5-4 win over the Braves - completing the Nationals' first sweep of the 2015 season - Ramos went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. The double proved the difference in a comeback win for the Nationals as it scored Ryan Zimmerman for the go-ahead run.

Ramos has now hit safely in 13 straight games, the longest streak for the Nationals this year. It is just one game short of the longest he's ever recorded, a 14-game streak last summer.

With two more hits on Sunday, Ramos is now hitting .327 and has 10 multi-hit games this year.

"I feel good right now. Concentrating, pretty good swing at the ball, hitting the ball hard. That's what I'm doing right now, and I feel comfortable with that. Try to get a good pitch and try to do my job," he said.

Ramos' double was against Braves right-hander Cody Martin, the same Atlanta reliever who gave up the walk-off homer to Harper on Saturday. Ramos took a pitch on the outside of the plate and watched it soar into the corner in right field, over the head of two-time Gold Glove-winner Nick Markakis.

"I was trying to hit the ball well. I was waiting for one pitch in the zone. I know Ryan was on first base and he can't run for to score from first, but he did it. That's good for the team, good for me because it was an important RBI in the situation because it feels great," he said.

Ramos' other hit drove in a run, as well. That was in the first inning when he poked a single up the middle to center field off Braves starter Alex Wood to score Zimmerman.

"He's one of the best hitting catchers in the league, I think everybody knows that," Bryce Harper said. "He's swinging it well right now. He's coming up big for us every single at-bat he's having, he's having good ABs. It's just making everybody else better. To be able to have him going is huge."

Ramos had one of his best games of the season on a special day for him. The 27-year-old catcher dedicated his performance to his wife, Yeli, and his mom, Maria, in celebration of Mother's day.

"Especially on this day, Mother's Day, I think if I remember, that's my first mother's day game, so I mean it feels great. Now, got my daughter last year, and I play this game for my mom and my wife, so that made me feel very excited."

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Nationals trade Brian Goodwin to Kansas City Royals

Nationals trade Brian Goodwin to Kansas City Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  -- Outfielder Brian Goodwin has been acquired by the Kansas City Royals from the Washington Nationals for minor league pitcher Jacob Condra-Bogan.

The 27-year-old Goodwin hit .200 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 48 games for the Nationals this season. He bruised his left wrist diving for a ball and did not play from April 15 until May 15, when he had two at-bats. He went back on the disabled list, returned June 1 and is hitting .171 (7 for 41) since.

Condra-Bogan, 23, went 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 16 relief outings with Lexington of the South Atlantic League and one appearance with Wilmington of the Carolina League, also Class A.

The trade was announced Sunday.


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What to make of the Strasburg-Scherzer shouting match in the Nationals' dugout

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What to make of the Strasburg-Scherzer shouting match in the Nationals' dugout

Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer had a heated exchange in the Nationals dugout Friday night.

It was another not-so-great moment in an otherwise unspectacular season for the Nats so far.

Things like this often appear worse than they are based on what we can see, not hear, on television. In any case, it has fans and pundits talking about a perceived off-the-field issue instead of the actual game. There's nothing "good" about this, but there are important factors that are "bad" and ones that are "not bad."

Davey Martinez, Strasburg and Scherzer already said this has been settled and wasn't a big deal in the first place, but for a manager who's already faced some scrutiny this year for how he manages his pitchers, having two of them go at it in the dugout isn't ideal.

It also doesn't present the best optics for a team that came out of the All-Star Break 5.5 games back of the division-leading Philadelphia Phillies. The Nationals need to build some momentum heading into the dog days of summer, and after a lackluster first half, this isn't how anybody would want to start the second half.

This was also Strasburg's first start back from a month-long stint on the disabled list. Ryan Zimmerman just rejoined the club as well. Things are shaping up to make for a solid second-half run, but all this does is detract from that.

The Nationals also just hosted the first All-Star Game in Washington since 1969. Having something like this happen in the dugout where everybody can see it takes away from some of that good publicity.

But there are also positives, or at least non-negatives, to take from this. Scherzer has always been ultracompetitive, and as the best pitcher on the staff, he needs to harness that into leadership. With Strasburg coming off a rough inning, Scherzer may have thought he needed a little tough love from a veteran. There's nothing wrong with that. Strasburg, to his credit, has never been one to focus too much on himself, so if there's anyone who can take something like this constructively, it'd be him.

This isn't Jonathan Paplebon fighting Bryce Harper for not running out a pop fly the day after the Nats were eliminated from playoff contention. These are two veteran guys who play the same position who are both competitive and want to win. It's akin to an older brother pushing his younger brother to do better. Strasburg even hinted at the family aspect after the game.

In the end, there's really nothing to see here. Frustration is part of the game. Talking it out is a part of remedying the frustration.

What really matters is tracking down the Braves and the Phillies. The Nationals can get started on that Sunday in the second game of a rain-shortened two-game series against the Braves.