Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis took a licking on Friday night, but kept on ticking. Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay collided with Ellis at home plate in the second inning in the Dodgers' 7-0 loss to the Cardinals at Dodger Stadium, a shot that left Ellis momentarily motionless on the field.
But Ellis felt good enough and passed all the right tests of Dodgers trainer Sue Falsone, and stayed in the game to catch all nine innings.
"We were just taking inventory, asking questions, working our way through the extremities, making sure everything was okay," Ellis said.
Ellis was briefly examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache after the game and said he felt good, other than a bruised forearm, the result of direct contact with Jay's knee. Manager Don Mattingly wants to wait and see how Ellis feels on Saturday before declaring him starter.
"The only thing I'm worried about with him, and we'll see how he is tomorrow, is that shoulder," Mattingly said. "The one thing I saw him doing through the course of the game is moving that hand around and his elbow. We'll see how he looks tomorrow."
The Dodgers are lucky the collision, which Ellis called "a good, clean baseball play," didn't result in further injuries.
"(Ellis) hung in there almost to a fault. He didn't give Jay a place to go," Mattingly said. "It really even looked like Jay pulled up just a touch. He could have really cleaned him up."
Mattingly was asked if home plate collisions should be outlawed in Major League Baseball.
"From my standpoint, you watch the games, you see collisions. It seems like it's kind of part of it. Obviously you don't want to see people get hurt," Mattingly said. "But things change."
Mattingly said if any change should come, it should be advised by former catchers.
"I think those guys should be the guys talking about it, the catchers who are a part of that, who have taken those shots and seen enough of it," Mattingly said. "Those are the guys, the (San Francisco manager Bruce) Bochy's of the world, Joe (Torre), (Cardinals manager Mike) Matheny, (Angels manager Mike) Scioscia, and those guys are the guys who should be talking about it and have a real input on it."
Ellis said his collision with Jay was among the worst of his career.
"I've been pretty fortunate in my career. I've been hit but nothing too serious. This one's up there. This was a pretty good shot," Ellis said. "Marlon Byrd got me a few years ago, when he was with the Cubs, that was a good one too. I remember one back in Double-A, I can't remember who it was, but he got me probably the best I've ever been gotten."
The Byrd collision was probably on July 10, 2010, as it was the only game Ellis played catcher when Marlon Byrd scored a run as a Cub against the Dodgers. But Byrd was also out at home on a separate play in that game, something I didn't think of when originally searching. Either way, I could not find video.
Luckily, the collision didn't rob Ellis of his sense of humor, as he described the relatively hot and humid night in Los Angeles.
"I was surprised how cool the weather was for a night in St. Louis," Ellis quipped.
Jerry Hairston went 0-for-3 with two ground outs and a fly out for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Friday night, and played six innings at third base. Hairston is scheduled to play six more innings on Saturday for the Quakes, this time in the outfield.
The Dodgers look to regroup on Saturday afternoon on big Fox, with southpaws Ted Lilly and John Gast facing off in a 4:15 p.m. PT start.