It may have looked like Andre Ethier caught a break tonight when Chris Young was scratched from his start against the Dodgers, but that clearly wasn’t the case. Ethier went 0-for-4 with a walk in a 4-2 loss to the Mets, ending his hitting streak at 30 games.
Ethier had actually owned Young, one of the tougher pitchers to hit in the NL, having gone 12-for-29 with six homers against him in his career.
Dillon Gee, though, left Ethier cold. After a first-inning walk, Ethier popped out to shallow left in the second and flied out to center in the fifth.
In the seventh, Ethier faced left-handed reliever Mike O’Connor, who induced a groundout to second.
Given one more chance in the eighth, Ethier had to face another lefty, this time Tim Byrdak, and struck out swinging.
Ethier’s streak matches Ryan Zimmerman’s in 2009 for the longest since Chase Utley hit in 35 games in 2006. He fell one short of matching the Dodgers franchise record of 31 games established by Willie Davis in 1969.
The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.
Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.
Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.
Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).
Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.