In the words of Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, shortstop Hanley Ramirez is “worse today”, tweets Jayson Stark. Ramirez has been playing with a cracked rib caused by a 95 MPH Joe Kelly fastball in the first inning of the first game of the NLCS. Ramirez has just two hits (both singles) in 16 trips to the plate in NLCS play after hitting Braves pitching at a .500 clip during the NLDS.
Mattingly was resigned to hoping Ramirez could pinch-hit at some point during Game 6, as Ramirez — at the time — didn’t “feel like he can swing the bat right now”. Nick Punto was initially in the lineup to start in Ramirez’s place at shortstop, batting eighth, but Ramirez was added back into the lineup late.
The updated Dodger lineup for Game 6:
Carl Crawford, LF
Mark Ellis, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Andre Ethier, CF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Juan Uribe, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Clayton Kershaw, P
The Cardinal lineup remains unchanged.
The Athletics tied a league record on Saturday thanks to Stephen Piscotty, who launched a two-run, 396-foot home run off of the White Sox’ Dylan Covey to put the club on the board in the second inning. The homer may not have erased the five-run deficit the A’s were working against, but it extended their home run streak to 24 consecutive road games — tying the 1996 Orioles for the longest home run streak on the road in 22 years.
Following Piscotty’s blast, they eventually tied things up in the fifth inning with a sac fly from Dustin Fowler and a two-run double off the bat of Jed Lowrie. Daniel Mengden, meanwhile, was forced off the mound after just two innings; he expended 44 pitches and gave up five runs on four hits and two walks.
The Athletics are currently tied with the White Sox 5-5 in the fifth. They’ll attempt to get a leg up in the series finale — and earn the standalone league record for most consecutive road games with a home run — when right-hander Paul Blackburn and southpaw Carlos Rodon go head-to-head on Sunday at 2:10 PM ET.