LOS ANGELES -- As much as Hanley Ramirez tried to remain positive, he sounded as if he was unlikely to play Monday in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series. Ramirez said that had the game been scheduled for Sunday, his bruised ribs would have kept him out of the lineup for a second consecutive day.
Andre Ethier was also uncertain about his status for Monday, as the center fielder continued to nurse an injury above his left ankle.
But with the Dodgers two losses away from elimination, Ramirez and Ethier said they would do whatever they could to play.
Ramirez was at Dodger Stadium on Sunday to receive treatment and wait for the results of a CT scan he underwent earlier in the day. The exam was administered to ensure that the X-rays he took the day before didn't miss anything.
"Even if it's cracked or something, I'm going to be able to go out there, if we can take the pain away," Ramirez said.
Manager Don Mattingly sounded less optimistic.
"No matter how much Hanley wants to play, there are certain things you're not going to be able to play with," Mattingly said. "You've got to be able to swing the bat."
That was something Ramirez couldn't do Saturday, when he was a late scratch from the lineup. Ramirez didn't attempt to swing a bat Sunday, saying he would leave that until right before Game 3.
Ramirez didn't think Cardinals starter Joe Kelly hit him on purpose when he struck him with a mid-90s fastball in Game 1.
In that same game, Ethier made his first start in almost a month. He remained in the game until the bottom of the 13th inning.
Ethier said he didn't play in Game 2 because he thought he couldn't make plays on defense. Like Ramirez, Ethier said whether he starts Monday will probably be a game-time decision. Even if Ethier doesn't start, he expects to be available to pinch-hit.
Zack Greinke won't say whether the Dodgers have talked to him about pitching Game 4 on three days' rest. Mattingly said the idea of pitching Greinke on short rest hasn't been discussed.
If Greinke starts Game 4 in place of the out-of-form Ricky Nolasco, Clayton Kershaw could pitch Game 5, also on three days' rest.
Under that scenario, Greinke could also pitch Game 7, provided he takes only three days off again. For what it's worth, Mattingly has steadfastly ruled that out. Greinke has pitched on three days' rest only twice in his career.
If Greinke starts Game 4 but not Game 7, the Dodgers' predicament wouldn't drastically change. Whether Greinke starts Game 4 or 5 and Kershaw 5 or 6, the Dodgers could advance to the World Series only if they get at least two wins from their other starters, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Nolasco.
In other words, moving up Greinke and Kershaw would only postpone Nolasco's start. Plus, Greinke and Kershaw wouldn't be as well-rested when they pitched.
Greinke threw 104 pitches in Game 1 and Kershaw 72 in Game 2.
Taking that into consideration, does it make any sense to start Greinke and Kershaw on short rest?
Mattingly was vague.
"It always makes sense any time you mention those two guys' names," Mattingly said. "But it's something, as I said, we haven't talked about at this point."
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