LOS ANGELES – The final decision was left up to Hanley Ramirez, who said Monday afternoon he’ll play in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals despite a hairline fracture in his left ribcage.
Ramirez took three rounds of batting practice and conferred with Stan Conte, head of Dodgers medical services, who left the final call up to the shortstop. Ramirez, who will bat third in the Dodgers’ lineup, will wear a slightly padded jacket around his entire ribcage, similar to what a running back wears.
“I’m going to play through it,” he said. “It’s no time for laying down right now. I’ve got some painkillers to make it feel better, hopefully for a couple of hours. Let’s see how long it’s going to last.”
Down 2-0 in the best-of-7 series, the Dodgers face the Cardinals in a 5:07 p.m. PT start on TBS.
A CT scan taken Sunday showed the injury to the eighth rib in Ramirez’s left side, the result of being hit by a pitch in the opener against the Cardinals. Ramirez sat out Game 2 but is hitting .444 in his first postseason and has been the Dodgers’ offensive catalyst.
Ramirez arrived at Dodger Stadium late Monday morning and underwent a long course of treatment, from ice to acupuncture to massage.
He said he felt an obligation to try and play for the Dodgers, who acquired him from the Miami Marlins in a four-team trade in July 2012.
“Everything they’ve done for me, making a trade for me, means a lot to me,” he said. “Since Day 1 that I got here, they’ve shown me a lot of love, a lot of respect. I’d do anything for this team and this city. So I’m going to be out there for the fans and my teammates and looking for the first win.”
Outfielder Andre Ethier is also playing in Game 3, batting fifth, despite an injury to the bone above his left ankle, manager Don Mattingly said.
Ethier started Game 1 and played almost all 13 innings of a 3-2 loss, then was relegated to pinch hitting and made the final out of Game 2.