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.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.