New York Mets' Wilson Ramos reacts after striking out during...

New York Mets' Wilson Ramos reacts after striking out during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, in New York. The Nationals won 2-1. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Credit: AP/Frank Franklin II

Mets catcher Wilson Ramos is batting .197. He’s feeling that.

“I know my timing right now — it’s not good,” he said.

On Friday night, Ramos’ defensive timing was not good, either. After taking a throw from rightfielder Michael Conforto that beat the runner, he was late on a tag on a play at the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning.

That split-second hesitation allowed the Phillies’ Roman Quinn to sneak his hand in and score the walk-off (slide-off?) run as the Mets lost another tough one.

Ramos felt that, too.

“I’ve been thinking about that play all night,” he said via Zoom on Saturday before the Mets continued their series in Philadelphia with a 6-2 loss.

Ramos also is feeling another loss — the one that matters the most. Like many major-leaguers playing during the pandemic, he is not able to be with his family. His wife and three children — including a son who was born in January — are in Florida.

“It’s very tough,” Ramos said. “It’s very tough to be here in this season away from everybody. Especially family. I’m a family person. Nothing better than to be with them. I understand we made a decision to play this year with all those rules, all those protocols . . . Sometimes I had a bad day and I came back home and I saw my kids and I forget about that day. Now it’s a little bit tough coming back to the hotel and I start overthinking.”

He had more time to think on Saturday when he spent the game on the bench, replaced by Tomas Nido. Manager Luis Rojas said he wanted the defensively superior Nido to catch struggling Steven Matz.

If Ramos were hitting, he might not have sat for the second time in three games. Nido had a two-homer, six-RBI game on Thursday, but he is not known for his offense.

“I’m having a tough time right now at the plate,” Ramos said. “It’s tough to be like that. I want to help my team a lot.”

The Mets signed him before last season fully aware that he is a bat-first, glove-second catcher. Not every pitcher loves to throw to him, a fact that spilled into public view last season when Noah Syndergaard balked at having Ramos behind the plate for his starts.

A better defensive catcher — Nido, perhaps — might have gotten the tag down on Quinn with the game on the line on Friday night.

“I was 100% sure I thought [he] was out at the plate on that play,” Ramos said. “Then I saw the replay. It was tough to me to see the play. I tried to tag the runner and my tag ended up a little bit up. And it cost the game.”

Still, the Mets are willing to live with all of that when Ramos is mashing the ball, as he has for most of his career. Currently, he is not.

“Always when I’m out there I try to do my best,” he said. “I don’t want to make errors. I don’t want to do nothing bad. I just want to go out there and have fun and help my team win. Anybody here doesn’t want to lose a game.”

The good news for Ramos is that Rojas said he should be back in the lineup on Sunday. The best news is that the Mets are flying to Miami after Sunday’s game to begin a four-game series against the Marlins on Monday.

Ramos and his family will be reunited. And, yes, it feels so good.

Players had to decide whether to play this season. Yoenis Cespedes and Marcus Stroman already have left the Mets for what both said were fears about COVID-19 (although it is suspected that Cespedes’ reasons had more to do with playing-time issues).

Those who are playing have to decide whether to physically interact with their families after being at the ballpark or on the road. Ramos said it’s worth it to him.

“I will spend the best time with them,” he said. “Try to enjoy them and forget about all these hard moments I’ve been having in my job.”


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