After facing injury after injury during the regular season, the Dodgers announced today that shortstop Hanley Ramirez has a hairline fracture in his left ribcage. He is doubtful for today’s Game 3 at Dodger Stadium.
“The X-rays that they took the other day were negative, but when they did a CT scan, I think it’s showing a fracture in the eighth rib,” said Dodger manager Don Mattingly.
Applying ice to his side every 20 minutes long before today’s game, Ramirez wants to play through it, though such a scenario seems unlikely in part because of the severity of the pain the fracture causes.
“It’s painful for Hanley,” Mattingly said. “It’s not dangerous if he tries to play. It’s just going to be a matter if he can swing the bat or not, and that’s why we’re kind of trying to get him loose now. He’s going to be more of a game-time decision.”
The Dodger offense, able to muster only two runs in 22 innings, needs a healthy Ramirez to combat the St. Louis pitching. In the NLDS against Atlanta, Ramirez went 8-for-16 in the division series with four doubles, a triple, a homer and six runs batted in.
In the first two games of the NLCS at St. Louis, Los Angeles batters went 1-for16 with runners in scoring position and struck out in 24 of their 76 at bats.
Yasiel Puig, who energized the team in the regular season, is 0-for-10 with six strikeouts. It seems the outfielder’s emotions have been affecting his play.
“I think that’s always the case with Yasiel and with any kind of mistakes in his at bats and stuff,” Mattingly explained. “But one thing we all know with Yasiel is it’s always from trying too hard. It’s never from not trying.”
After St. Louis won the longest Game 1 in league championship series history and followed it up by winning a pitcher’s duel in Game 2, Los Angeles now must win four of the next five games.
“We came up short on the short end of both of those games and they’ve got the momentum,” Mattingly explained. “There is no question about that right now, but that all changes tonight.”
Maybe not. The team is two losses away from ending their season and is facing the team with the best regular season record in the National League.
Though St. Louis scored only four runs – three earned -- in the two games, they beat Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke and will throw an ace of their own in Adam Wainwright in Game 3. He’ll also pitch in either Game 6 or 7 if necessary.
In a year where the team has repeatedly found a way to extend its season, it now appears the Dodgers' run is nearing the end.
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