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.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.