(AP) Ramirez’s status uncertain for Dodgers in NLCS
By BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer
The Dodgers’ offense is struggling, and they might have to face St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright without their top hitter in Game 3 of the NL championship series.
Shortstop Hanley Ramirez had a CT scan on his painful left ribs Sunday, and the results weren’t available by mid-afternoon. He got hit by a pitch from Joe Kelly in the opener but stayed in to play all 13 innings of a 3-2 loss Friday.
Ramirez was a late scratch for Game 2, a 1-0 defeat that left Los Angeles trailing the Cardinals 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.
He rested Sunday, along with the rest of the team, which didn’t hit on the field.
Ramirez had a .638 slugging percentage during the regular season, and the Dodgers desperately need an offensive boost to get back into the best-of-seven series. They batted .184 in the first two games on the road, including 1 for 16 (.063) with runners in scoring position.
Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier didn’t start Saturday, but he appeared as a pinch-hitter and ended the game with a strikeout. He’s been bothered by shin splints, although he made his first start since Sept. 13 in the series opener.
Wainwright predicted both Ramirez and Ethier would play.
Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig has yet to make an impact in the series. Hitting cleanup in place of Ramirez, Puig struck out four times Saturday, dropping to 0 for 10 with six strikeouts in the series.
The lack of offense and injuries to key players recalls the early season version of the Dodgers, when they were mired in the NL West cellar and were 12 games under .500. Then Puig arrived in early June and sparked their revival.
The Dodgers couldn’t capitalize on stellar outings by Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw on the road and now must rely on rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu, who stumbled against Atlanta in losing his playoff debut in the division series. He allowed four runs and six hits in three innings, and made two major mistakes in the field.
Wainwright last pitched against Los Angeles in the postseason in the 2009 NL division series, allowing one earned run in eight innings of a no-decision. He left leading 2-1 before the Dodgers scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to win.
The Cardinals went through a full workout on a sunny and cool day at Dodger Stadium.
Manager Mike Matheny said his team’s mentality has stayed the same throughout the season.
The Dodgers have been down before in best-of-seven postseason series and come back. Three times they’ve trailed 2-0 in the World Series, most recently against the New York Yankees in 1981, and rallied to win titles each time.