The Los Angeles Dodgers have advanced to the National League Championship Series for the first time since 2009 after Juan Uribe hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the 8th inning as the Dodgers defeated the Atlanta Braves, 4-3. (Note: I still am really happy that Juan Uribe doesn’t know how to bunt) So who was the MVP of the division series? It was of course shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who battled through injuries in the regular season and only managed to play in 86 games but had a phenomenal NLDS series. Let’s just say Hanley Ramirez was on fire in the NLDS!
Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez (13) celebrates with right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) after scoring a run in the third inning against the Atlanta Braves in game three of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
All season long I just wanted Hanley to be healthy. He has one of the prettiest swings in baseball and the games that he did play, he brought a spark to the lineup that the Dodgers desperately needed. He hit .345 with 20 home runs and 57 RBIs in the regular season. Entering the postseason, Ramirez knew he was going to have to step up after the Dodgers found out that Matt Kemp was going to miss the postseason with an ankle injury. Ramirez stepped up and them some in first round of the playoffs, becoming only the third Dodger to ever have six or more extra-base hits in a postseason series. The other two just happen to be Steve Garvey and Duke Snider, who are both huge Dodger icons and had great careers in blue. Ramirez finished the series 8 for 16 (.500 average) with four doubles, a triple, a home run, and six runs batted in. He had a hit in every game and the only game that he didn’t have an extra-base hit was game 4. Oh, I forgot to mention that Ramirez was entering uncharted territory. He had never made it to the playoffs before this year. Not bad for a playoff “rookie” I would say.
Ramirez’s signature move after a home run or a base hit is to make a circle with his index fingers and thumbs that signifies his trademark, “ I See You.” After Ramirez’s hot NLDS, it seems as if the only thing that the Braves pitchers didn’t see was Ramirez getting out.
The Dodgers take on the winner of the Pittsburgh Pirates/St. Louis Cardinals series with the first game being played on Friday.