Andre Ethier tries to extend streak to 31 games

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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.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.