Hanley Ramirez has never played in the MLB postseason before 2013. It is merely just a fact about his career, not a criticism of Ramirez, but people often bring it up when discussing how good he actually is, as if we cannot judge him without seeing him perform in the postseason.
Well, if the Dodgers' NLDS with Atlanta is any proof, Ramirez is just as good, maybe even better, in the playoffs than the regular season.
In the four games against the Braves, he is hit 8-16 with five RBIs, four doubles, two singles, one home run, one triple, and one walk. He tied Steve Garvey for the Dodgers record for extra-base hits in a playoff series with six, on Sunday.
Ramirez was the Dodgers' best pure hitter when he was healthy this year. He wrapped up his season with a .370/.462/.704 line in September, but nobody expected him to play like this in his first-ever playoffs.
For Ramirez these postseason games have been a long time coming. On Sunday, he talked about what he used to do after the regular season came to a close.
"Go back home and watch the playoffs with my family," he said.
But watching the playoffs was not what the superstar shortstop wanted to do.
"I remember telling them last year that I want to be there."
Now, Ramirez is here and he is loving it.
"It's an unbelievable feeling, just the energy around you, in the dugout, on the field, the crowd, playing in front of our crowd."
For a pro like Ramirez, all that excitement does not go to his head. He is still as calm as ever at the plate and has been completely destroying Atlanta's pitching.
"I knew that it was going to be crazy tonight, and you've got to thank the fans for bringing that energy from the beginning ‑‑ from the first inning all the way to the end of the game."