April 30, 2013
The Los Angeles Dodgers were staring at a losing record for the first month of the season as the club was struggling to get anything going offensively.
Their main source of power, center fielder Matt Kemp, was struggling and it led to the rest of the lineup struggling to pick up the slack. The Dodgers desperately needed someone to come in and put an end to struggles and on April 30 they got their wish.
Shortstop Hanley Ramirez was having a great Spring Training with the Dodgers before joining the Dominican Republic for the World Baseball Classic where he showed once again that he was back to being a threat at the plate.
Unfortunately, Ramirez tore a ligament in his thumb during the WBC, requiring surgery and he missed almost the entire first month of the season. However, Ramirez made his first start on the most fitting night, Hanley Ramirez ‘I See You’ Bobblehead Night against the Colorado Rockies.
With the Dodgers leading 4-1 in the bottom of the third, Ramirez came up and on the first pitch, hit a towering fly ball over the left field wall off Colorado Rockies’ starter Jorge De La Rosa for his first home run of the season.
Then in the bottom of the fourth and the Dodgers leading 6-1, with one out and a runner on first, Ramirez hit a long line drive to right field for a double, giving him his second extra-base hit of the night in his first start of the year.
Ramirez showed a glimpse of what was to come as he put the Dodgers on his back for the rest of the year even as he continued to battle hamstring and shoulder injuries. Hopefully, Hanley comes back even stronger next season as the Dodgers are counting on him to produce on a consistent basis.
Here’s Hanley first home run of the season against the Rockies: