Hanley Ramirez didn’t make his 2013 debut until Monday. He probably played his last game for a long time last night: he suffered a “serious” left hamstring injury while going first-to-third:
Manager Don Mattingly said Ramirez “got it pretty good,” comparing it to the hamstring injury suffered by Matt Kemp last year. That one sidelined Kemp for 51 games over two stints on the disabled list because he came back too soon and reinjured it after one game.
The injury came at AT&T Park, which is the same place Ramirez injured his thumb in the WBC. He left his health in San Francisco.
The biggest issue now is what the heck the Dodgers do with the infield they’ve been juggling all season. Dee Gordon would seem like a good choice, but the Dodgers had wanted to keep him in Triple-A and maybe learn second base. Speaking of second base, Mark Ellis was on the bench last night for his sixth straight game with a quad injury, so the Dodgers are a mess up the middle.
Davey Lopes is the first base coach. I imagine he could still play. Just spit-ballin’ here.
The book heading into the series was that the Dodgers’ starters needed to come up big for them due to questions in the bullpen and that the Brewers’ bullpen was going to dominate Dodgers batters, so they had best do what they can to score off of Milwaukee’s starters. So, of course, the Dodgers starters turned in performances of three and four and a third innings and eight of their nine runs the Brewers have given up have come from their relievers. I dunno, man. It’s baseball. It lends itself to anticipatory analysis worse than any other sport.
All I do know for sure is that this series has been as close as it gets so far, with each game being decided by a run and the outcome being determined late. The first two games have given me a sense that the teams are just feeling each other out and that the next three, in Los Angeles, will provide a bit more coherence to all of this. Not that there isn’t something a bit fun about incoherence when it comes to a playoff series.
Your viewing guide:
NLCS Game 3
Brewers vs. Dodgers
Ballpark: Dodger Stadium
Time: 7:39 PM Eastern
Pitchers: Jhoulys Chacin vs Walker Buehler
Jhoulys Chacin had an excellent NLDS start against the Colorado Rockies, turning in five scoreless innings. If he does something approaching that tonight the Brewers will be in pretty good shape given that Josh Hader — who pitched three shutdown innings in Game one — is available again tonight. To the extent Craig Counsell needs to dig more deeply into his reliever corps, however, things could get dicey. Corbin Burnes, Jeremy Jeffress, Corey Knebel and Joakim Soria have combined to allow seven earned runs in four innings. Brandon Woodruff, who has been dominant thus far, throwing five scoreless innings, stands a good chance of being the opener for Game 4, so Counsell will likely try to keep him off the mound tonight. That puts a decent amount of pressure on Chacin to get the game to Hader with as few innings remaining as possible.
For Los Angeles, it’s Walker Buehler who, the grand slam he gave up to Ronald Acuña in the NLDS notwithstanding, was the Dodgers’ most dominant starter down the stretch. In keeping with the somewhat flipped script so far, however, the Los Angeles bullpen has been solid, allowing just two runs over their ten and two-thirds innings in Games 1 and 2. Not that Dave Roberts wouldn’t love to see Buehler go deep tonight too.