Hanley Ramirez hopes to play
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers were hoping to have shortstop Hanley Ramirez and center fielder Andre Ethier back for Game 3 of the NL Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday, but won't know the status for either player until game time.
Ramirez, struck by a Joe Kelly fastball in the first inning of Friday's 13-inning loss, was scratched from the lineup less than an hour before Saturday's game with bruised ribs. X-rays came back negative. He underwent a CT scan on Sunday, the results of which were not available when Ramirez and manager Don Mattingly addressed the media.
Even if it's cracked or something I'm going to be out there. We're just working on taking the pain away so I can go. It's uncomfortable. It's never happened before to me. It's an uncomfortable injury, but I'm going to try to deal with it.” -- Hanley Ramirez
Ramirez said he would try to play Monday if he can deal with the pain.
"Even if it's cracked or something I'm going to be out there," Ramirez said. "We're just working on taking the pain away so I can go. It's uncomfortable. It's never happened before to me. It's an uncomfortable injury, but I'm going to try to deal with it."
As much as Ramirez wants to play, Mattingly said he and the medical staff would make the final decision.
"If this thing (the CT scan) comes back and it's something that he just can't play, there are certain things that you're not going to be able to play with," Mattingly said. "So no matter how much Hanley wants to play, there are certain things you're not going to be able to play with. You've got to be able to swing the bat."
Ramirez said he'd been told the only way he could make the injury worse by playing is if "I got hit there again [by a pitch]. Hopefully, it won't happen. But if it happens, it happens. This time of year, you've got to do what you've got to do."
He said the Dodgers medical staff was meeting to discuss potential options to help him deal with the discomfort, including a pad that could be sewn into his shirt to protect the rib cage and some sort of pain medication that would at least enable him to get through the game.
Ramirez batted .345 in the regular season and is hitting .444 with a home run and six RBIs in the playoffs. He was replaced in the lineup by Nick Punto. Ramirez had difficulty swinging the bat on Saturday and said that he wouldn't even attempt to swing one again until he came back to the ballpark on Monday.
"I'm just trying to let it rest right now," Ramirez said. "I want to get some treatment and get the pain away. I'm going to stay positive and do whatever it takes to be in the lineup."
Mattingly said he would monitor Ramirez and see how he looked on Monday before deciding whether he can play.
"It's probably going to be a pain thing," Mattingly said. "We're just going to have to wait and see with him. I know Hanley wants to play. He keeps continuing to tell me that he's going to play, and that can only go so far though. He's got to be able to play."
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Ethier was held out of the Game 2 lineup a day after making his first start in center field in more than four weeks. Ethier moved slowly around the bases Friday and missed a Carlos Beltran line drive that went for a two-run double in the Cardinals' 3-2, 13-inning win in Game 1. Ethier said after the game he felt like he should have caught it.
Ethier said he would try to play on Monday but was not sure if he would be able to.
"I'm not sure, we haven't made that decision yet," Ethier said Sunday. "We're not there. We're trying to get to that point where I can make those plays where it's not a question mark on the defensive side. We'll figure it out tomorrow."
Ethier was replaced in center field by utility man Skip Schumaker, who played the entire NLDS in center field, batting .231. If Ethier can't start, he would be available to pinch hit, with Schumaker again starting in center field.
"He says he feels better," Mattingly said of Ethier. "We'll just kind of see how this thing goes, and if he's going to be able to go tomorrow also. He's going to be day to day. We probably won't make the decision until we get here tomorrow and see what he's going to be able to do."
There had been talk of the Dodgers possibly going with Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw on short rest or possibly leaning on their starters out of the bullpen if they lost Game 3 and were facing elimination. Mattingly, however, said those options have not been discussed yet.
"We haven't talked about Kershaw out of the bullpen," Mattingly said. "We haven't talked about anybody on three days' rest. ... It always makes sense anytime you mention those two guys' names, but it's something we haven't talked about at this point."
Information from ESPN.com's Jayson Stark was used in this report.
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