LOS ANGELES — Despite their aches and pains, Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier will be in the Dodgers’ starting lineup today in what is now an elimination game in the National League Championship Series.
After checking with the training staff and with both players, manager Don Mattingly said Ramirez, who has a hairline fracture in his left ribcage, and Ethier, who has a sore left ankle, are ready to play in Game 5 against the St. Louis Cardinals.
“There was really no convincing this morning,” he said. “I came in, first talked with the trainers (who said) Hanley feels better today. He’s good to go. Dre felt good to go. So it was no real hold-up.”
How effective they’ll be in what is a must-win for the Dodgers remains unknown. Ramirez was 0 for 3 with three strikeouts before he was removed after the sixth inning, and Ethier has appeared unable to run at full speed.
Tuesday night, after the Dodgers lost 4-2 to fall behind three games to one in the best-of-seven series, Ramirez said he felt good when he arrived at the ballpark. But his ribcage got progressively worse and he finally had to leave the game.
“I don’t know if he irritated it yesterday during (batting practice),” Mattingly said. “In BP, he was swinging the bat good, then I saw him swing late and kind of grab his side.
“Hopefully, it calmed down overnight. He’s getting some treatment. I’m sure he’ll try to do something to take the edge off a little bit of the pain, and we’ll see where he’s at. I think everybody knows the importance of the game. He wants to be a part of it. He thinks he can do something for us, so he’s in there.”