Left hamstring strains are contagious. It's science.
The Dodgers already placed one player on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring on Wednesday in Juan Rivera, and they might have to do so with another player soon. Jerry Hairston Jr. had an MRI on Wednesday that confirmed his strained left hamstring, which he injured on Sunday in Chicago.
"I'm holding out hope, but I want to be smart," Hairston said after the game. "If it's going to take 10 days to heal or 14-15 days, you'd rather take that especially this time of the year, than running the risk of blowing it out and missing two months."
The Dodgers are off Thursday, which gives them some time to decide whether or not to place Hairston on the DL.
"We're going to wait until tomorrow, talk about this some more and make a decision on where we need to go," manager Don Mattingly said.
The Dodgers have had so many hamstring injuries of late, including Matt Kemp's tight left hamstring this week, that Tony Gwynn Jr. was thinking about it while running the bases on his game-changing three-run triple that turned the tide in the Dodgers' 6-2 win over the Giants.
"The whole time I was thinking about not blowing out because we already have enough guys who are hurt right now," Gwynn said.
The triple for Gwynn came in the fourth inning, much earlier than he is used to entering a game. It explained why he was huffing and puffing as he reached third base.
"I was sucking wind over there. I hadn't even really gotten into my routine. That's the first time I've been up in the fourth inning. I was getting in the cage and starting my work when I heard my name called," Gwynn said. "My legs weren't really working."
"Ever since Double A, whever I pinch hit I don't like to hit in the cage," Van Slyke said. "I just get loose, watch the pitcher, and get my swings in the on-deck circle."
Van Slyke was a late scratch from the lineup in the Albuquerque Isotopes' day game Wednesday in Tacoma, and he found out around the third inning, around noon PDT, that he was getting the call to the big leagues. He called his wife first, then his dad, to deliver the good news, and didn't arrive at the ballpark until close to game time.
"I wasn't as nervous as I thought I'd be. Stepping into the box I wanted to get that first swing out of the way to calm my nerves."
Van Slyke's wife got to Dodger Stadium around 8:30 p.m, and was able to see her husband collect his first major league hit and first major league RBI off Travis Blackley in the sixth inning.
"This will be with me for a while," Van Slyke said.
The Dodgers are off Thursday but welcome the Colorado Rockies to Los Angeles for a three-game series beginning Friday night. Chris Capuano starts Friday for the Dodgers, looking to go 5-0, while Jamie Moyer starts for Colorado.
When told his father Andy Van Slyke had faced Moyer, Scott Van Slyke laughed and said, "Did he? That's crazy. I'll get some scouting reports from him."