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.

Astros’ Verlander to have elbow surgery, miss rest of season

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Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.

“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.

He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.

“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”

Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.

“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.

“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”

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