Hanley Ramirez scratched from lineup with bruised ribs

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UPDATE: Craig Sager just said on the TBS broadcast that Ramirez attempted to swing a bat and still felt discomfort in his ribs. He has left the stadium in order to undergo X-rays.

3:20 p.m. ET: Bad news for the Dodgers. The team just announced that Ramirez has been scratched from the lineup. Nick Punto will start in his place.

2:05 p.m. ET: Here’s a potentially big development for the Dodgers as they attempt to even things up against the Cardinals in the NLCS.

According to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that Hanley Ramirez could be a late scratch for Game 2 this afternoon as a result of bruised ribs suffered on a hit-by-pitch last night.

Ramirez was hit by a Joe Kelly fastball in his first at-bat last night and managed to stay in the game while dealing with the pain, but Mattingly said that he’s a “little sore” today. He’s in the lineup for now, but Mattingly described him as “iffy” and that a final decision could come around game time.

Ramirez, who batted is 8-for-18 (.444) one home run, one double, six RBI, and five walks over five games so far during the postseason. The Dodgers have Nick Punto and Dee Gordon as alternatives at shortstop if Ramirez can’t go. However, it goes without saying that either would be a significant downgrade to the lineup.

Mike Trout has been really good at baseball lately

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“Water wet,” “Sky blue,” “Dog bites man” and “Mike Trout good” are not exactly newsworthy sentiments, but once in a while you have to state the obvious just so you can look back later and make sure you were, in the moment, aware of the obvious.

And to be fair, “Mike Trout good” is underselling the Angels outfielder lately. He’s on the greatest tear of his great career lately, and dang it, that’s worthy of a few words on this blog.

Last night Trout went a mere 1-for-1, but that’s because the Diamondbacks were smart enough not to pitch to him too much, walking him twice. There was no one on base the first time he came up and he got a free pass. There was a guy on first but two outs the second time, so he was once again not given much to hit and took his base again. Arizona was not so lucky the third time. The bases were loaded and there was nowhere to put Trout. He smacked the first pitch he saw for a two-run single. They probably shoulda just walked him anyway, limiting the damage to one. The last time up he reached on catcher’s interference. Maybe Arizona figured that literally grabbing the bat from him with a catcher’s mitt was the best bet?

If so you can’t blame them, really. Not with the month he’s had. In June, Trout is hitting .448/.554/.776 with five homers. He currently leads the league in the following categories: home runs (23), runs (60), walks (64), on-base percentage (.469), OPS (1.158) OPS+ (219), total bases (179) and intentional walks (9). He currently has a bWAR of 6.5. WAR, in case you did not know, is a cumulative stat. When he won the 2014 MVP Award, he “only” had 7.6 for the entire year.

Sadly, one man does not a team make, so the Angels are only 9-8 in the month of June and have fallen far back of the red-hot Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners in the division race. For this reason I suspect a lot of people are going to do what they’ve long done and overlook Mike Trout’s sheer dominance or, even more ridiculously, claim he is overrated or something (believe me, I’ve seen it even this month).

Feel free to ignore those people and concentrate instead on the greatest baseball player in the game today, who has somehow managed to up his game in recent weeks.