As we heard this morning, Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez was held out of the lineup for the second straight game due to irritation in the AC joint in his right shoulder. According to Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said this afternoon that Ramirez actually got a cortisone shot in his shoulder on Wednesday night and wasn’t even available to pinch-hit today.
Ramirez is expected to sit out again tomorrow at the very least, but the hope is that he’ll be able to avoid a stint on the disabled list.
“Hanley came in today feeling much better, so there’s actually been a lot of success with those shots,” Mattingly said.
As opposed to last season, Ramirez has remained mostly healthy so far this season, appearing in 63 of the Dodgers’ 68 games. While he hasn’t been nearly as productive with the bat as he was last year, he’s still hitting .255 with 10 home runs and an .800 OPS. The 30-year-old is currently in his walk year.
Bryce Harper, who said he was tired after taking his cuts in the first round, certainly appeared gassed in the final round. So, too, did his dad, who was throwing to him. But Harper caught fire, going on a tear and tying Kyle Schwarber with 18 home runs before time expired in the final round of the 2018 Home Run Derby. Harper unlocked 30 seconds of bonus time by hitting two home runs at least 440 feet. With his second swing in bonus time, Harper homered to straightaway center field for No. 19. He tossed his bat in celebration, grabbed his trophy, then gave it to his dad before he was mobbed on the field by his All-Star teammates.
Harper hit 13 home runs in the first round, eliminating Freddie Freeman and advancing to the semifinals. In the semis, Harper topped Max Muncy 13-12 to advance to the finals. On Schwarber’s side of the bracket, he bested Alex Bregman 16-15, then defeated Rhys Hoskins 21-20.
Harper is the first member of the Nationals (or Expos) to win the Home Run Derby. Harper participated in the 2013 Derby but finished in second place behind Yoenis Céspedes. Harper is also the first left-handed hitter to win the Derby since Prince Fielder in 2012. The only players to win the Derby in their home park are Todd Frazier in 2015 and Ryne Sandberg in 1990.
As a spectator, the 2018 Home Run Derby was tons of fun. The four-minute clock adds a lot of tension and intrigue even to the initial rounds. Seeing teammates cheer and get excited for their teammates in the Derby is really fun. Of course, watching dinger after dinger is cool, too. Can’t wait for next year.