Pitching on five days’ rest, Hyun-Jin Ryu gave the Los Angeles Dodgers seven relatively strong innings but allowed the tying run to score in the seventh. The Dodgers and Cubs then remained tied into the 12th inning.
After being on the field for over four hours and playing in a steady rain for the last few innings, Hanley Ramirez rescued the Dodgers with his first career walk-off home run. Dee Gordon was the the first to make progress towards putting Ramirez in position to win the game by smacking a two-out single to center.
That brought Justin Turner to the plate, who drew a walk after Gordon stole second base. Ramirez discussed what he saw in Turner’s at-bat while standing in the on-deck circle and the approach he took, via an AP report on EPSN:
I was watching the way they were pitching to J.T., and it didn’t look like they wanted to pitch to him. They wanted me,” Ramirez said. “So I told myself to just slow my swing down because I had to come through. He made a mistake up and left something over plate, and I made a good swing. That’s what we’re here for — to win games.”
The home run was Ramirez’s 12th this season and first since June 17. It’s been an injury-plagued year for the shortstop, who is in the final year of his contract. Heading into 2014, Ramirez had positioned himself for a multiyear deal that likely would have been well north of $100 million.
With Ramirez’s inability to remain healthy, that no longer appears a given but rather doubtful. Despite coming up with the winning hit, Ramirez pointed to the team’s success and not his.
The 30 year old is 4-for-9 with four RBIs through the first two games against the Cubs after going 0-for-11 in the three-game series with the Atlanta Braves. Ramirez is now hitting .276 to go with a .832 OPS and 56 RBIs this season.
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