Andre Ethier joins Hanley Ramirez as game-time decision for Game 3 of NLCS. Update.

Andre Ethier

Andre Ethier was limping after chasing fly balls in the Dodger Stadium outfield prior to Game 3 of the National League Championship Series on Monday. (John McCoy/Staff photographer)

Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier will be a game-time decision for Game 3 of the National League Championship Series after missing Game 2 with an injury to his lower left leg.

He hit several line drives in batting practice and a couple home runs. Covering the full range of center field at Dodger Stadium was a different matter.

Ethier’s range was limited, as he came up limping on a few particularly long runs to the gap. He chose not to jump for a ball that barely cleared the wall in right-center field. Ethier did not limp at any point while attempting to run the bases during batting practice, but he did not approach full speed.

Ethier played all 13 innings of Game 1 in center field, which Dodgers manager Don Mattingly called a “worst-case scenario” in light of the injury. Skip Schumaker was the Dodgers’ center fielder in Game 2 on Saturday, a 1-0 loss, and figures to start today if Ethier can’t.

“We’ll have to see him get out on the field, see what he can do, and we’ll kind of go from there,” Mattingly said during his afternoon media session prior to BP. “Another game-time (decision) or at least after BP or during BP at some point, we’re going to be able to figure out if he’s going to go or not.”

Update (3 p.m.): Ethier said he can play, but wasn’t sure if he would be in the lineup.

“I’m going to go in and talk to Donnie,” he said after batting practice.

Asked how he felt compared to Game 1 of the NLCS, Ethier said, “about the same. I don’t think quite as physically sharp but definitely able to go out there and play and get the job done.”

Hanley Ramirez has a hairline fracture of his eighth rib, will be game-time decision for NLCS Game 3. Update.

Hanley RamirezA CT scan on Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez revealed a hairline fracture of his eighth rib. Ramirez will be a game-time decision today, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.

“It’s just going to be a matter if he can swing the bat or not, and that’s what we’re kind of trying to get him loose now. He’ll try to swing here … I think around 2 o’clock they were talking about, and we’ll have to make a decision from there.”

Update: Ramirez said prior to the game that he will play, wearing protective gear “like a running back.”

“I owe too much to this team and this city” not to play, he added.
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Andre Ethier scratched from Dodgers’ lineup in Game 2 of NLCS; Hanley Ramirez a game-time decision.

Andre Ethier

Andre Ethier played 13 innings in center field in Game 1 and will start Game 2 on the bench. (Associated Press photo)

Dodgers center fielder Andre Ethier played 13 innings in his first game in the field since Sept. 13.

That was more than enough for one day — or two.

Saturday, Ethier arrived at Busch Stadium feeling sore and was given a day off in favor of Skip Schumaker in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that X-rays on Ethier’s left leg came back negative, but Schumaker will bat seventh and play center field against his former employer, the St. Louis Cardinals.

“He was sore at the end of the game last night,” Mattingly said, which is something that Ethier wouldn’t admit to when surrounded by reporters in the wee hours Saturday morning.

Regardless, Ethier is available to pinch hit and double-switch late in the game today, Mattingly said.
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Was Kenley Jansen warm in the 13th inning?

Kenley Jansen

Carlos Beltran’s walkoff single off Kenley Jansen (background) lifted the St. Louis Cardinals to a 3-2 win Saturday. (Associated Press photo)

It’s a fair question.

The temperature at Busch Stadium was in the low 60s when Dodgers pitcher Chris Withrow allowed a bloop single to St. Louis Cardinals pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso in the early hours Saturday morning. That’s when Jansen said he began to throw in the bullpen, having not thrown a warm-up pitch at any point prior to the 13th inning.

Was it tough to stay warm?

“Yeah kinda,” Jansen said, “but you’ve just got to keep being strong out there.”

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Don Mattingly likes Edinson Volquez’s numbers more than Chris Capuano’s, won’t say which numbers.

Paco Rodriguez

Pitchers Paco Rodriguez (center) and Chris Capuano (not pictured) aren’t on the Dodgers’ NLCS roster. (Sarah Reingewirtz/Staff photographer)

Chris Capuano said that Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told him after Thursday’s workout at Busch Stadium that Edinson Volquez was going to be the team’s long reliever in the National League Championship Series.

“We had to have a guy that could definitely be a long guy and we felt like he was the best long guy against this club,” Mattingly said Friday of Volquez.
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Dodgers manager Don Mattingly: Hyun-Jin Ryu will start Game 3, Ricky Nolasco Game 4 of NLCS.

Hyun-Jin Ryu

Dodgers rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu will start Game 3 of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday. (Sarah Reingewirtz/Staff photographer)

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly announced that Hyun-Jin Ryu will start Game 3 and Ricky Nolasco Game 4 of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals in Los Angeles.

That puts perhaps the greatest pressure on Ryu, who must oppose Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright when the Dodgers return home Monday. Wainwright has pitched in 15 postseason games in his career, starting six and recording four saves. In starts, he is 3-0 with a 2.54 ERA. He pitched a complete game and allowed one run Wednesday in the Cardinals’ series-clinching win against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
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Andre Ethier bats seventh for Dodgers in Game 1 of National League Championship Series.

Andre Ethier

Andre Ethier went 0 for 3 with a walk in four pinch-hit appearances in the National League Division Series. (John McCoy/Staff photographer)

Andre Ethier is back in the Dodgers’ starting lineup tonight, playing center field and batting seventh, for the first time since Sept. 18.

“I just wanted to see how things responded last night,” said Ethier. “I didn’t wake up feeling sore.”

Ethier has been running bases and shagging fly balls in center field for the better part of the last week. His performance in yesterday’s team workout at Busch Stadium, and the health of his left ankle today, counted for a lot.

“A lot of things we’ve seen yesterday we really liked,” Mattingly said. “At first it wasn’t as good as I would have liked but as the day went on, he got better and better out there in center. He goes, does a lot of things, making turns. So it feels like at least he’s back today. We don’t know how he responds after a game of Major League Baseball, not just a workout.”

Ethier was 0-for-3 with a walk in four pinch-hitting appearances in the National League Division Series against the Braves. He’ll swap spots on the bench with Skip Schumaker, who was 3 for 13 (.231) with two RBIs and three walks in the series.

“Worst-case scenario, (Ethier) would be back to a pinch hitter or something possibly tomorrow, then another day off,” Mattingly said. “But the best-case scenario is obviously that he’s going to be able to bounce back and tomorrow he’ll be fine.”

The Cardinals will use the same lineup they used in Games 3, 4 and 5 in the National League Division Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Here are the lineups for both teams:
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Daily Distractions: Why isn’t Chris Capuano on the Dodgers’ NLCS roster?

Chris Capuano

Chris Capuano walked three batters but didn’t allow a run in Game 3 of the National League Division Series against the Braves, earning the victory in his only postseason appearance. (Associated Press photo)

Five days ago, Chris Capuano said he “really had no idea” that he was going to be on the Dodgers’ roster for the National League Division Series.

“You have Carlos Marmol who’s just throwing the ball fantastic, you’ve got Brandon League, you’ve got Edinson Volquez, you’ve got some real power arms,” Capuano said. “It was exciting for me to have a chance to contribute.”

At the time, Capuano reeked of false modesty. He had just pitched three scoreless innings in relief of Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lasted just three innings in his MLB postseason debut. The veteran left-hander is the only pitcher not named Clayton Kershaw to win a game for the Dodgers this postseason. He validated manager Don Mattingly‘s faith in Capuano and his health — he missed three weeks in September with a strained groin — and seemed to have earned his keep as a long reliever for any similar situations in the National League Championship Series.

Why, then, was Capuano left off the Dodgers’ NLCS roster Friday morning?
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National League Championship Series start times, (some) pitching matchups announced.

Thursday morning, we learned the start times and at least some of the projected pitching matchups for the second-ever Dodgers-Cardinals National League Championship Series:

Game 1: Dodgers at Cardinals, 5:37 p.m. Friday. Zack Greinke vs. Joe Kelly
Game 2: Dodgers at Cardinals, 1:07 p.m. Saturday. Clayton Kershaw vs. Michael Wacha
Game 3: Cardinals at Dodgers, 5:07 p.m. Monday. TBA vs. Adam Wainwright
Game 4: Cardinals at Dodgers, 5:07 p.m. Tuesday
Game 5: Cardinals at Dodgers, 1:07 p.m. Wednesday
Game 6: Dodgers at Cardinals, 5:37 p.m. Friday
Game 7: Dodgers at Cardinals, 5:37 p.m. Saturday

All games will be televised on TBS, with the same broadcast crew (Ernie Johnson, Cal Ripken, Ron Darling) carrying over from the National League Division Series.

No time for a full list of distraction-worthy bullet points today, so enjoy the long version of “Fire” by the Ohio Players: