Blog Entry

Dodgers keep winning, hold breath for Ethier

Posted on: May 16, 2010 8:29 pm

The most significant thing about the Dodgers' seven-game winning streak is found behind the numbers:

They've put all of that together without shortstop Rafael Furcal (strained hamstring) and opening day starter Vicente Padilla (right elbow soreness), who are on the disabled list, and they've won the last two games without Andre Ethier (fractured right pinky).

The Ethier loss is still fluid, and the Dodgers will not know until later this week whether they'll have to place him on the disabled list.

If he misses significant time, it will make life tough on the Dodgers because, as Sunday's games started, Ethier led the NL in all three Triple Crown categories: Batting average (.392), home runs (11) and RBI (38). In fact, he leads the majors in two of those categories -- average and RBI.

Manager Joe Torre said following Sunday's 1-0 win in San Diego that the plan is to "wait a couple of days" and "let some of the soreness come out. Then we'll see what he can do with it and decide if that's enough.

"The last thing I want is for him to go out and do something and get into bad habits."

Ethier injured himself in the batting cage before Saturday night's game while in the midst of his regular pre-game routine. Torre said Ethier's right pinky finger -- on his bottom hand as the lefty swings the bat -- always has had a tendency to slip off the knob and sort of fall behind the bat handle. That leaves the bat handle threading through Ethier's right ring and pinky fingers.

The fracture is in the area of the first knuckle of Ethier's right pinky -- the one closest to the fingernail.

Torre said the trainers will place the finger in "some kind of splint" to immobilize it and hope it calms down in a day or two.

"A lot depends on what we find out over the next couple of days," Torre said. "As far as his comfort level."

In the midst of this, the Dodgers received excellent starts this weekend from Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley and are 12-3 since April 30 -- the best record in baseball since that date.

"It's big because we've put a streak together for ourselves where we've played good baseball and gotten good pitching," Torre said. "We were fumbling around early trying to get a good feel."

"It's been good," said first baseman James Loney, whose clutch home run helped win Saturday's game.

The Dodgers now are 17-7 in games when they hit at least one homer, and 3-10 when they don't homer.

One other significant stat: They're now 12-3 in games against NL West opponents. Cleaning up within the division is exactly how they won the NL West in 2009: They went 46-26 against the Padres, Giants, Rockies and Diamondbacks.


Since: Oct 6, 2008
Posted on: May 17, 2010 3:35 pm

Dodgers keep winning, hold breath for Ethier

Wow this sucks.  Right when I started watching the Dodgers game after the Dodgers beat Jimenez and the Rockies last weekend this sh1t happens.  Oh well.  Someone said the Dodgers should get Dye from the WhiteSox.  Others are saying let Xavier Paul play.  I say the Dodgers should go after Oswalt of the Stros.  Dodgers are like an ACE away from being super super elite.

Since: Jan 31, 2009
Posted on: May 17, 2010 1:43 pm

Dodgers keep winning, hold breath for Ethier

Fractured? Bummer. Hopefully it will heal on its own, but as long as the pitching continues to hold up there's no need to rush Andre back.
I heard Vin Scully say something the day after Ethier got hurt, and that is that Andre hurt the finger taking extra batting practice. I guess it shows why the results are showing-when your hitting nearly .400 and taking extra BP. hope he's back soon.

Go Dodgers!

Since: Oct 27, 2007
Posted on: May 17, 2010 12:34 pm

Dodgers keep winning, hold breath for Ethier

I just hope Andre Ethier just has to miss a the Astros series and get his hot bat back in the line-up. Although Xavier Paul had a few good games when Manny Ramirez was out.

Go Dodgers!

Since: May 21, 2007
Posted on: May 16, 2010 11:52 pm

Dodgers keep winning, hold breath for Ethier

Nice post, Scott. Here's hoping that Ethier isn't gone long, that the pitching resurgence is the real thing, and that the fielding strings together a few more games of errorless ball. It's almost as though someone turned on a switch, because the Dodgers are doing just about everything well, compared to doing just about everything poorly for the first twenty games of the season. There is no simple explanation, but some of the turnaround in the pitching staff results from the fact that the pitchers always start out a bit behind the hitters.

I give kudos especially to Kershaw, Billingsley, and Broxton on the pitching staff, to Ethier and Martin among the hitters, and to Loney, Martin, and Kemp defensively. Probably more kudos are due to people like Blake and DeWitt, but I don't get to see them play. I only get to see the highlights, and these are the guys making the highlights. I could add to the list some of the guys in middle relief, such as Monasterios, who appears to be what they had hoped he would be.

There was no one thing that resulted in this seven-game winning streak. Not that I'm complaining, but I suppose that it always begins with starting pitching. They set the tone, and the rest, presumably, follows. It's fun to follow, even if only online. If they keep it up, I'll have to subscribe to to watch some games the rest of the season.

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