Get blanked, 7-0, and manage only three hits like the Dodgers did on Friday night, and maybe you think Manager Don Mattingly’s team was completely devoid of his desired true grit.
Not so. It was there in plain sight in the sixth inning when catcher A.J. Ellis took a hard hit from Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay in a bruising home-plate collision.
Ellis lay flat on his back for several scary minutes, but after counting body parts with team trainers, he stood up and remained in the game.
“We were just taking inventory,” Ellis said. “Asking questions and working our way through the extremities. The only thing I really felt, and I still feel it now, is from watching the replay his knee made contact with my forearm. I have a pretty good bruise in my right forearm.
“But other than that, just normal stiffness from a postgame. I got checked out by the doc and I’m all good.”
The Dodgers had best hope so. Visions of having to start Ramon Hernandez at catcher had to jar them as much as any Mattingly comments about their grit and fight.
“He took a hit,” said Dodgers left-handed pitcher Chris Capuano. “I think tomorrow he’s going to wake up and feel like he was in a car wreck.”
Ellis called it a “good, clean baseball play,” and Mattingly seemed to agree, though he couldn’t be thrilled with Ellis exercising his inner Mike Scioscia.
“He hung in there almost to a fault,” Mattingly said. “Jay got to A.J. before the ball did. A.J. really didn’t give him anywhere to go. It really looked like Jay kind of pulled up just a touch. He could have really cleaned him up.”
Ellis said he planned to be back behind the plate Saturday.
“If the same thing comes up tomorrow, I’ll be right there, blocking the plate,” he said.
Ellis said that while he was while still prone, trainer Sue Falsone was asking him where he was, what inning it was, and other questions he answered confidently. Afterward, his humor also remained intact.
“I was just surprised how cool the weather was for a night in St. Louis,” he said.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times