Hanley enters in seventh
Hanley Ramirez wanted to start on Friday, but manager Fredi Gonzalez isn’t ready to chance anything.
So not completely unexpected, the All-Star shortstop was not in the starting lineup for the afternoon contest with the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
However, in the seventh inning, Ramirez entered as part of a double-switch, playing shortstop for the first time since the first inning on Monday.
Leading off the eighth inning, Ramirez batted in the pitcher’s spot, and the first pitch he saw from Carlos Marmol was high and tight for a ball. Ramirez ended up walking. And in the ninth inning, Ramirez came to bat representing the tying run. He was facing former Marlin Kevin Gregg.
Ramirez lifted a fly ball to center for the final out. Yet, he was encouraged to be back, and he expects to start on Saturday.
“I feel good,” said Ramirez, who had his eight-game hitting streak snapped. “I feel I’ve got my timing. I’ll just wait for tomorrow. I’ll be ready to go.”
Ramirez is still a little sore, and he expects to be for a while.
On Friday morning, Ramirez told Gonzalez that he was ready to go.
“That’s a good sign,” Gonzalez said. “That’s the competitor in him. He wants to play. He came out of the cage [Thursday] with only like nine swings, and it was kind of bothering him. So we’re going to make him go through the whole BP and see how he reacts.”
Ramirez had not played since he was struck on the right hand by a pitch from John Maine at Citi Field.
Ramirez on Thursday tested the hand by swinging in the batting cage, which is located inside the wall and under the right-field bleachers at Wrigley Field. Off a tee, Ramirez took a few swings and didn’t feel right. So he stopped.
– Joe Frisaro