Thus, broken-ribbed Hanley Ramirez is in the lineup, batting third and playing shortstop. You talk about up-and-down seasons and that's been Ramirez's 2013. He's either been the Dodgers' most crucial hitter or he's been injured.
In this NLCS, he's been playing with a fractured rib ever since he was hit by a pitch in Game 1. Ramirez missed Game 2 completely, then returned for Game 3 after being diagnosed with a hairline fracture. He was 2-for-4 with an RBI and then, even though he wasn't feeling as good, made a go of it again in Tuesday's Game 4. He left that game after six innings and an 0-for-3 day at the plate with three strikeouts.
Then there's these two records that sum it up: The Dodgers are 55-29 this season when Ramirez starts and 41-45 when he doesn't. Oh, and he's hitting .400/.516/.760 in the postseason.
It's been made clear that Hanley wouldn't be trying to play with a fractured rib were this not the postseason. So with the Dodgers playing a do-or-die again on Wednesday, he's in the lineup.
Here's a storyline to enjoy: The Dodgers are facing Cardinals pitcher Joe Kelly again in Game 5. He hit Ramirez with the pitch in Game 1 that injured him.
[Photos: Dodgers vs. Cardinals in NLCS]
If Ramirez collected his revenge against Kelly in Game 5, the timing would be great for the Dodgers.
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