Andre Ethier tries to extend streak to 31 games

1 Comment

With another hit Saturday against the Mets, Andre Ethier will overtake Ryan Zimmerman’s 2009 streak of 30 games and claim the longest hitting streak since Chase Utley hit in 35 straight in 2006.

He’ll also match Willie Davis’ franchise record for the Dodgers, established in 1969.

Trying to stop Ethier tonight will be one of the game’s toughest pitchers to hit against.  Chris Young has limited hitters to a .218 average over the course of 139 career starts.  The league is just 12-for-82 against him this year, good for a .146 average.

Lefties such as Ethier have compiled a .223 career average against Young.  This year, though, they’re just 5-for-48, giving them a .104 average.

Not so encouraging, huh?

Of course, Ethier did take on Young a time or two during the right-hander Padres career.   And he pretty much manhandled him.  Ethier is 12-for-29 with a whoppping six homers versus Young.  He has a .414 average and a crazy 1.603 OPS against him.

So things don’t seem to dire after all. And Ethier typically hasn’t been waiting around to extend his streak. Last night’s early single gave him nine first-inning hits during the 30-game stretch.

Jered Weaver dealing with “dead arm”

Tom Pennington/Getty Images
4 Comments

Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.

Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.

Ian Kinsler doesn’t think Puerto Rico or Dominican Republic players play the game the right way

Jon Durr/Getty Images
31 Comments

Update: Whoops…

*

Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:

I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.

The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.

Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.

Jim Leyland also got in on the action:

Go Puerto Rico.