In the clubhouse before the Dodgers’ game against the Padres, he politely informed reporters that he isn’t doing interviews. Less than an hour later he was in a dark corner of left field, the only portion of Petco Park not bathed in sunshine, where the Western Metal Supply Co. building casts its shade. It’s the same building into which Ramirez hit a 390-foot home run last night.
Saturday afternoon, he was sprinting beneath the bricks for manager Don Mattingly and head athletic trainer Stan Conte. A few minutes later, Ramirez was scratched from the list of reserves and inserted into the Dodgers’ starting lineup.
“As he got here and got running around,” Mattingly said, “if we didn’t know anything had happened you wouldn’t know (he had been injured the night before).”
Ramirez felt a pain in his left quad rounding first base in the sixth inning of the Dodgers’ 3-2 loss Friday. He lobbied to stay in the game, played another two innings, then was pulled after hitting a game-tying two-run home run in the eighth inning.
Yasiel Puig (who was given a day off Friday) was originally penciled into the lineup, batting second. Ramirez is batting second now, with Puig dropping into the fifth slot in the order.
“Right now you give Hanley the extra at-bat,” Mattingly said.