Tonight’s original Dodger lineup had Miguel Rojas hitting eighth and playing shortstop, as we all happily grumbled about Hanley Ramirez spending his fifth consecutive day on the bench thanks to a right shoulder issue. But even as that lineup was out there, Dylan Hernandez was reporting that Don Mattingly thought that Ramirez could be added to the lineup late, depending on how the pregame workouts went.
Los Angeles, CA
Apparently, it went well: Ramirez is now in the revised lineup, hitting third and playing short for the first time since last Sunday in San Diego, and with the exception of Justin Turner giving Juan Uribe a day off, that looks something like what the Opening Day lineup always should have been. (Yes, we all thought Alex Guerrero would be up by now, but still.) Simply adding Ramirez at third and pushing everyone down a spot just lengthens the lineup so much; a 6-7-8 of Andre Ethier, Turner and A.J. Ellis is not the worst thing in the world. Remember when it was Rojas, Jamie Romak (who cleared waivers and is back with Albuquerque) and Carlos Triunfel? This is better.
Now, whether the short-term joy of seeing Ramirez back in the lineup is going to outweigh the potential long-term risk of having him in the lineup when he’s clearly at less than 100 percent is up for debate; I honestly can’t say I’m particularly comfortable with it. But clearly that’s the decision the team has made, so all we can do is hope for the best out of it.
In the meantime, Zack Greinke against Lance Lynn is a better matchup than you think it is. Lynn gets underrated a lot, but he’s got a 3.24 FIP this year and a 3.32 mark in parts of four seasons, so he’s not exactly a pushover. Since the Giants don’t play until 7 p.m. Pacific tonight, the Dodgers have the opportunity to pull within 1.5 games for the first time since May 3; if they win and the Giants lose, with Matt Cain facing Cincinnati’s Alfredo Simon, the Dodgers would be a single game behind for the first time since sweeping a doubleheader in Minnesota on May 1. It hasn’t always been pretty over the last two months, but it’s not been the disaster many liked to play it off as, either. The Dodgers still have an excellent chance to be back in first place by July 1, which would make our favorite resident weathercaster extremely happy.
Do remember: This game is not on SNLA, but is on FOX, with old friend Eric Karros along with Thom Brennaman. If you’re not in the Los Angeles or St. Louis broadcast areas, or in the southwest, you probably aren’t getting the game. You’re not out of luck, though; in an extremely welcome move, this is the first year that these games are not blacked out on MLB.tv or Extra Innings.
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