After losing Game 4 and putting themselves on the brink of elimination, the Dodgers may have received some good news following the game regarding their slugging shortstop.
Ramirez came out after the sixth inning and was replaced by Nick Punto after repeatedly talking to Don Mattingly and trainer Stan Conte about how he was feeling.
According to J.P. Hoornstra of the L.A. Daily News, Mattingly had somewhat encouraging news about Ramirez:
Hanley Ramirez got worse as the game went along, Mattingly said. Wouldn’t rule him out of playing tomorrow.
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) October 16, 2013
The Dodgers play at 1 p.m. at Dodger Stadium tomorrow, a quick turnaround for Ramirez to recover; however, facing elimination may prompt the Dodger shortstop to play.
Ramirez was 0-3 with three strikeouts in Game 4 and did not even attempt to swing in his final at-bat. He seemed to have tweaked the injury in his first at-bat in the first inning. The Dodger slugger has a hairline fracture in his eighth rib, suffered after being hit by a pitch by Joe Kelly in the first inning of Game 1, who’s expected to start tomorrow in Game 5.
If Ramirez can’t go, it’s likely that Mattingly will go with Punto, as he did in Game 2; however, he may also could opt to use Michael Young, who came into the game at shortstop on a double-switch in the top of the ninth.
Young would provide a better bat, but Punto provides better defense and more speed.
Punto hit a double in the bottom of the seventh inning but then was picked off at second base while Young hit a ground ball to shortstop in his at-bat.
Ramirez did update his own status after the game, saying that the ribs felt worse today but that he does want to play tomorrow.
The Dodger shortstop made it clear before Game 3 that he was willing to play for his team and for the city of Los Angeles and if he is able to bear the pain, look for Ramirez to play.
In case you missed it, here are details about “RallyBear” from Game 3 last night.