MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Ramos busts out of slump with towering blast

Ramos busts out of slump with towering blast

WASHINGTON -- Catcher Wilson Ramos appears to be out of his slump. His home run in the seventh inning helped the Nationals edge the Mets, 1-0, at Nationals Park on Wednesday.

Ramos swung at the first pitch from right-hander Fernando Salas and hit a monster home run into the left-center-field bleachers. Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes and center fielder Curtis Granderson barely moved. The ball traveled a Statcast™-projected 427 feet and the exit velocity was 110 mph.

"Willie will be the first one to probably tell you that he has been struggling a little bit," bench coach Chris Speier said. "Again, this is a long season, he has caught a lot of games. He really squared that ball up. He is going to enjoy the off-day tomorrow like we all will."

Bench coach Speier on 1-0 win

Before the go-ahead home run, Ramos found himself in a 3-for-26 slump from Sept. 3-12 and saw his average drop from .314 to .302. Ramos decided that he needed to be more relaxed at the plate and look for his particular pitch.

Ramos was aggressive and relaxed when facing Salas, and he is pleased that the Nationals cut the magic number to win the National League East to seven.

"I'm happy we got a couple of numbers down. The team is playing very well right now," Ramos said. "Everybody is excited about [winning the division], being very close. ... The way we are playing, you could tell that we are all tasting it a little bit."

Ramos was also pleased that he was able to help the team win on a day manager Dusty Baker was not at the game because of a death in his family.

"It's an unfortunate situation Dusty is going through. I wish him the best," Ramos said. "At the same time, we had him in mind. Hopefully, it uplifted him a little bit. ... I wish him all the best. In a sad moment, we gave him pleasure and happiness today."

Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.