Hanley Ramirez declined to talk about his tight left hamstring. Brian Wilson wouldn’t speak about the victory he earned against his former team. And Dodgers officials refused to explain why they raised the prices of some season-ticket packages by as much as $30 per game.
For all the unanswered questions that remained in the wake of a 3-2, 10-inning victory over the last-place San Francisco Giants on Thursday night, this much was still clear: The Dodgers will win the National League West.
“It’s inevitable that they’re going to do that,” Giants Manager Bruce Bochy said.
The Dodgers’ magic number to win their division is down to five.
But if the Dodgers play into October as expected, will Ramirez be in the lineup?
Feeling mild tightness in the same hamstring that landed him on the disabled list in May, Ramirez was taken out of the game in the seventh inning. The last time Ramirez injured that hamstring, he was sidelined for a month.
Manager Don Mattingly described the move as precautionary.
“I think he’s OK,” said Mattingly, who offered similar thoughts on Matt Kemp before each of the three times he was placed on the disabled list.
Ramirez appeared to run with a slight limp when reaching base on an infield hit in the first inning. Mattingly also saw something in his stride when he grounded out in the fifth.
“He gets tight during games and he always says he’s fine,” Mattingly said.
This time, Mattingly ignored Ramirez’s request to stay in the game, based on what he heard from one of the trainers.
“We couldn’t take the risk with him right there,” Mattingly said.
The Dodgers scored in the bottom half of that inning.
A.J. Ellis led off with a single, immediately after which he was replaced on the bases by Dee Gordon. The fleet-footed Gordon stole second base off Giants starter Matt Cain and reached third on a sacrifice bunt by Mark Ellis. Gordon scored on a double by Yasiel Puig to move the Dodgers in front, 2-1.
But Kenley Jansen failed to close out the game in the ninth inning, leading to Wilson taking the mound in the 10th against the only team for which he had pitched until this year. In his first game against his former team, Wilson was credited with the win after Adrian Gonzalez singled in Carl Crawford to set off the Dodgers’ latest walk-off celebration.
Ramirez and Wilson refused to stop and speak to reporters on their way out of the clubhouse.
Wilson also didn’t make time for Bay Area reporters before the game, prompting Bochy to jokingly say: “That’s rude. The pen is mightier than the sword. Start ripping.”
Before any of this, the Dodgers issued a news release announcing that season tickets for next season were on sale.
The team wouldn’t make any of their officials available to explain the new pricing structure, but the message was clear: the Dodgers fielded the most expensive team in baseball history and now it was time for the fans to pay.
President Stan Kasten said in the news release: “Most Dodger tickets have not increased in price in the last two seasons as we looked to first prove to our fans that this ownership group was committed to putting the best possible team on the field, providing a first-class fan experience at the stadium and performing meaningful outreach in the community. We’ve made great strides in demonstrating that, and with these necessary adjustments and the support of our fans, we will continue to put all of our efforts into upgrading the team and the stadium and producing a championship-caliber organization.”
The most significant changes were in the premium field box seats, which cost $80 per game this year for season-ticket holders. Those same seats will cost $110 or $100 next year, depending on their location.
Premium parking will also cost a lot more: $400, up from $300 this year. General admission parking will remain the same.
The ticket prices for more than 45,000 seats will increase by $3 or less per game, according to the team, which neglected to mention how that could add up.
For example, tickets in the upper half of the top deck will increase from $5 per game to $7. Over 81 games, that will change the price from $405 to $567.
Demand for tickets certainly appears to be on the rise. The Dodgers sold a record number of season tickets this season and played in front of a capacity crowd for the 24th time Thursday, as fans swarmed to the park to receive their promotional Magic Johnson bobblehead dolls.
The Dodgers’ attendance is up 10% from last year and the team is on track to draw more fans to its home games than any team since the New York Yankees drew 3.77 million fans in 2010, according to Major League Baseball.
Twitter: @dylanohernandezCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times