When the Dodgers found out Hanley Ramirez was available earlier in the week, they pounced, and the 28-year old three-time All-Star has thrived in the middle of their batting order since arriving from Miami.
Ramirez has at least one hit and at least one run scored in each of his five games as a Dodger, and he also drove in seven runs, including a game-winning home run against the Dodgers' chief rival on Friday night.
Ramirez also brought a celebration with him that has spread through the Dodger clubhouse. Whenever the Dodgers get a big hit now, they all make circles over their eyes with their fingers to mimic glasses, as if to say, 'I see you' back to the dugout.
After Clayton Kershaw's shutout of the Giants on Sunday afternoon, the Dodgers can see first place again, as they are now tied with San Francisco.
Dodger Batter of the Week: He wasn't even on the team until Wednesday, but Hanley Ramirez made quite an impact in his first five games as a Dodger. He tripled on the very first pitch he saw on Wednesday in St. Louis, he hit a game-winning home run on Friday in San Francisco, and on the week hit .333/.417/.619 with seven RBI and five runs in five games.
Honorable mention goes to A.J. Ellis, who became the first Los Angeles Dodger ever to walk four times in one game twice in one season; and to Luis Cruz, who tied Ramirez for the team lead with seven RBI and has a 12-game hitting streak.
Dodger Pitcher of the Week: After missing a start with right elbow inflammation, Chad Billingsley turned in a pair of stellar starts in wins in St. Louis and San Francisco. Billingsley allowed just one run in 13 1/3 innings during the week.
Honorable mention goes to Stephen Fife, who was anything but spotty in his second spot start, and to Aaron Harang, who pitched into the eighth inning int he heat in St. Louis.
Week 17 Record: 4-3
32 runs scored (4.57 per game)
24 runs allowed (3.43 per game)
.629 pythagorean winning percentage
Season Record: 56-47
406 runs scored (3.94 per game)
384 runs allowed (3.73 per game)
.525 pythagorean winning percentage (54-49)
A Rare Pair Of Firsts: On Friday night in San Francisco, Stephen Fife left with a lead for the second time in his two big league starts. But thanks to Ronald Belisario allowing a pair of runs in the eighth inning for the second time in a Fife start, Fife was unable to pick up his first major league win. However, Fife did collect his first major league hit, a double in the fifth inning on Friday. Relief pitcher Shawn Tolleson eventually picked up the win, which was his first major league win.
According to Elias, Tolleson and Fife became the first Dodgers pair to pick up their first major league win and first major league hit in the same game since Jeff Kubenka (win) and Angel Pena (hit) did the deed on September 8, 1998. The last time it happened outside of the expanded roster environment of September was on April 24, 1967, when Dick Egan (win) and Jim Campanis (hit) picked up their respective major league firsts.
Sacrifice Steaks: Before this week, no Dodgers pitcher had hit a sacrifice fly this season. No Dodgers pitcher hit a sacrifice fly last season either. In fact the last sacrifice fly hit by a Dodgers pitcher was by Charlie Haeger on May 4, 2010. But this week it seemed to be contagious, as Chris Capuano hit a sacrifice fly on Thursday afternoon in St. Louis (a play he thought was a single for about a minute), then Chad Billingsley did the same on Saturday afternoon in San Francisco.
Extra, Extra, Read All About It: After playing a pair of extra-inning games in the previous week, the Dodgers played two more this week. They lost a 12-inning nailbiter in St. Louis on Wednesday, their third 12-inning game in a seven-game span, but Hanley Ramirez made up for it with a two-run home run in the 10th inning on Friday to beat the Giants. The Dodgers are 7-3 in extra-inning games this season.
- Monday: After missing just one start during his All-Star break adjacent disabled list stint, Chad Billingsley was activated to start the opener in St. Louis. The Dodgers optioned relief pitcher Josh Wall to Triple A Albuquerque just one day after he picked up a win in his major league debut.
- Wednesday: The Dodgers made their first move of trade deadline season, acquiring infielder Hanley Ramirez and left-handed relief pitcher Randy Choate from the Miami Marlins in exchange for pitcher Nathan Eovaldi and minor league pitcher Scott McGough, the Dodgers' fifth round pick in 2011. To make room for Choate on the active and 40-man rosters, reliever Shawn Tolleson was optioned to Triple A Albuquerque and Todd Coffey was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.
- Thursday: For the second time this season, Shawn Tolleson got a reprieve one day after getting optioned, as he was recalled from Triple A when infielder Adam Kennedy went on the disabled list with a right groin strain.
- Friday: Right elbow inflammation sent reliever Scott Elbert to the disabled list, opening the door for Stephen Fife to get recalled from Triple A to make his second major league start.
- Monday: Dodgers 5, Cardinals 3
- Tuesday: Cardinals 8, Dodgers 2
- Wednesday: Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2 (12)
- Thursday: Cardinals 7, Dodgers 4
- Friday: Dodgers 5, Giants 3 (10)
- Saturday: Dodgers 10, Giants 0
- Sunday: Dodgers 4, Giants 0
Week 17 Stats