The Dodgers are ready to head to St. Louis this afternoon as Zack Greinke and company forced Game 6 tomorrow night at Busch Stadium. In Game 5 yesterday afternoon, the Dodgers had an offensive explosion as they hit four home runs en route to their 6-4 victory.
However, Hanley Ramirez came out of the game in the seventh inning for the second consecutive game and Andre Ethier still seemed rusty out in center field. Before the team headed to St. Louis, manager Don Mattingly updated both of their conditions to Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com:
Mattingly said he expects Ethier and Ramirez to play tomorrow. He sounded more confident about Ethier than Ramirez.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) October 17, 2013
Ramirez is playing with a fractured eighth rib while Ethier is still getting over a shin injury that he sustained in mid-September. While Hanley was pulled, Ethier continued to play in center field and didn’t seem to have much range on a Carlos Beltran double that should’ve been caught in the third inning.
Arguably the hottest hitter in baseball, Ramirez was hit in the first inning of Game 1 against the Cardinals and obviously hasn’t looked the same since. Nick Punto or Michael Young would fill-in for him if he couldn’t go, but hopefully the day off today helps Hanley recover in time for Game 6.
Clayton Kershaw starts for the Dodgers tomorrow night against Cardinals rookie Michael Wacha and even if Hanley isn’t producing up to his standards, his presence in the lineup does make a difference. It sounds like both Hanley and Ethier will tough it out tomorrow night as the Dodgers look to tie the NLCS at three.
In case you missed it, here’s the “Mickey Mouse” celebration from Adrian Gonzalez yesterday afternoon.