Hanley Ramirez was hit by a pitch during the 4th inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday night. As you might remember, Ramirez was hit by Cards starting pitcher Joe Kelly in the first game of the NLCS last year and suffered a broken rib. Clayton Kershaw had finally seen enough.
With LA leading 3-1, runners on first and third and two out, Ramirez was drilled in the shoulder by a fastball from Carlos Martinez that was thrown in a very dangerous area.
Kershaw plunked Matt Holliday in the backside with his first pitch in the next half inning.
“I have a ton of respect for Matt Holliday and the way he plays the game, that’s all I’m going to say about that,” Kershaw told reporters after the game, via Bill Plaschke of the LA Times. “But what I will say is, though, it’s tough when you see Hanley get hit like that so many times. It’s one thing to miss in[side], but when you’re missing up and in at a guy’s face like that, that’s really scary. … When you throw that hard, you need to have a better idea where the ball’s going.”
The home plate umpire immediately warned both teams. Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball, so you know the wild pitch was intentional. While Martinez may not have hit Ramirez on purpose, Kershaw was likely retaliating as much for Kelly’s pitch in the NLCS as he was for Martinez’s high fastball.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had no problem with it.
“We’re going to protect our guys,” Mattingly said.
I guess Kershaw isn’t mad at Ramirez for blowing his perfect game on this play last month. If anyone is going to stand up for his Dodgers teammates, it might as well be their best player.