The Dodgers have the NL West division in the bag. It’s been that way for the last two weeks as the team was left to just play out the string of regular season games before meaningful baseball returns in October. The primary goals for these Dodgers have been to stay ready and just not get hurt.
With Miguel Rojas getting drilled on the left hand by a 95 mph fastball on Friday night, it’s a frightening reminder that injuries are always possible when you’re on the field — that freak plays like the one that dislocated Max Muncy’s elbow on the final game of the season in 2021 can happen when the games don’t even mean anything.
Dodgers analyst Jerry Hairston Jr. was having none of it. Hairston along with Orel Hershiser were heated about Rojas getting drilled in the hand in a meaningless game. Essentially, a team with nothing to play for like the Giants should be smarter with how they pitch. Now Rojas is left with a painful left hand seven days before the start of the postseason, and that could affect him all throughout October.
“We don’t know if he’s okay,” Hairston said on the SportsNet LA postgame show. “He may have a fracture. Or even if he doesn’t have a fracture, he could have a deep bone bruise that could bother him the rest of the way. I remember somebody 10 years ago got hit in the ribs by the name of Hanley Ramirez. He was our best player and it affected our team.”
For Hairston, he eventually asked for the Dodgers to protect their own players and “let the league know you can’t touch our guys.”
The retaliation pitch is an old school style of baseball that has slowly faded away over the years. Not that it’s completely gone, but you don’t see it as much in today’s game — especially from the Dodgers.
Sean Hjelle’s pitch didn’t seem to have much malic behind it, it was just a pitch that seemed to get away from him. But maybe that’s open to interpretation.
The incident came just moments after a Rojas play was challenged for a violation of the rule limiting defensive positioning. Rojas along with starting pitcher Lance Lynn let the Giants know how they felt about the challenge as the inning ended. Then, after two outs in the next inning, Rojas is suddenly drilled.
Depending on the status of Rojas, who manager Dave Roberts said would not play today either way, Saturday night’s game could get a little heated. Especially if Jerry Hairston Jr. gets his way.
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