07/23/09 1:30 AM ET
Manny out of lineup with bruised hand
Dodgers slugger sits with off-day Thursday
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
"The bobblehead is playing left tonight," Ramirez said, before being limited to pinch-hitting duties on his Manny Ramirez Bobblehead Night giveaway with a hand still sore after taking a 95-mph fastball off it Tuesday night.
Ramirez's hand looked fine in the sixth inning when he pinch-hit for pitcher Chad Billingsley and delivered his 21st career grand slam. The shot proved to be the deciding blow in the Dodgers' 6-2 victory.
X-rays were negative and Ramirez was diagnosed with a bruise of the side of his left hand. He originally was in the lineup Wednesday night, but only because of a miscommunication with the coaching staff.
"He gave [bench coach Bob] Schaefer a thumbs-up and we wrote him into the lineup, but I backtracked and talked to the trainer who said it was bothering him a little," said manager Joe Torre. "No sense going out there. He's available to pinch-hit, but with the off-day [Thursday], we won't push it. It's just a bruise."
Ramirez, who had the hand wrapped, said he feared the worst when the pitch hit him.
"It was bad, but thank God, it's not broken," he said. "It was real sore. Yeah I was worried, but thank God the X-rays came negative, so everything's fine."
Juan Pierre started for Ramirez in left field, leaving Manny to spend the pregame joking with teammates and reporters and showing off the bobblehead, which came complete with a coating of pine tar on the batting helmet.
"It looks great. It's OK, it's not my first bobblehead," he said. "I love it. They even put the wrist strap in the back. But my pocket's not out. They messed up that. They haven't given me any. I took this one from the training room."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.