As the Dodgers head toward an inevitable playoff appearance, team health heads the list of concerns as the regular season winds down. The team got a bit of a scare on Thursday night, when shortstop Hanley Ramirez left the game against the Giants with a hamstring injury.
Ramirez left the game after six innings for what the Dodgers called precautionary reasons with mild tightness in his left hamstring, the same injury that sidelined the shortstop for 28 games on the disabled list in May and June.
The Dodgers played in cautiously with Ramirez when he returned from the previous hamstring injury, with just 12 plate appearances and two starts in nine team games after he was activated.
Nick Punto replaced Ramirez at shortstop in the top of the seventh inning on Thursday night, while the Prime Ticket television broadcast showed manager Don Mattingly talking with a dejected Hanley Ramirez, seemingly trying to console him. Mattingly patted Ramirez several times on the back.
Mattingly said Ramirez has been bothered by hamstring tightness for a few games.
"We got to the point where I just couldn't take that chance. It seems the last couple of days he's been saying the same thing and saying the same thing: 'I feel great' and 'I feel fine.' Then as the game goes it keeps kind of popping back. At that point he was kind of begging me to keep playing there, but I just couldn't do it," Mattingly said. "He didn't do anything to [the hamstring], I just couldn't take any chances."
Ramirez was 1-for-3 on the night, and is hitting .342/.390/.634 with 18 home runs in 79 games this season. The Dodgers are 47-24 when Ramirez starts.