Stats & Info: Andre Ethier

Top stats to know: Dodgers at Giants

July, 27, 2014

AP Photo/Jae C. HongDon Mattingly has his team playing .610 ball since June 9, tied for the best mark in the NL.
Tonight on ESPN’s "Sunday Night Baseball" (8 ET, ESPN/WatchESPN), first place in the National League West is on the line as the San Francisco Giants host the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers go into the game with a half-game advantage in the division. Through June 8, Los Angeles trailed San Francisco by 9½ games. Since then, the Dodgers have gone 25-16, while the Giants are 15-26.

Still, it’s easy to wonder if the Dodgers have underachieved, given their MLB-leading payroll. Similar questions could be asked of the Giants, who rank sixth in payroll. Part of the reason is that several of their star players haven’t played up to their star billing this season.

Adrian Gonzalez
Gonzalez started the season on a tear. At the end of April, he was hitting .317 with eight home runs and an OPS of 1.021. But since May, he is batting .245, with just seven home runs in 282 at-bats. His OPS over the last three months is down to .685.

Matt Kemp
In 2011 and 2012, Kemp was one of the top outfielders in baseball, finishing second in MVP voting in 2011 and making the NL All-Star team both seasons. Since then, however, Kemp has struggled.

Over the last two seasons, Kemp’s wins above replacement is a minus-0.6, meaning he’s worth less than a minor league call-up in the same position.

This season, his WAR is minus-1.1, which ties him for the third-worst among NL position players, behind only Domonic Brown and Jedd Gyorko.

Andre Ethier
Ethier’s decline has been going longer than Kemp’s. Ethier batted .292 in 2011, but his batting average has declined each year since, down to .248 this season. His home run total has also declined, from 20 in 2012 to 12 in 2013 to just four so far this season.

Hanley Ramirez
Although Ramirez is producing much more than the previous trio, he is still well off his mark from 2013, when he had a 1.040 OPS. This season, it’s .840. Last year, Ramirez had 20 home runs in 336 plate appearances. At this year’s All-Star break, he had 11 homers in the same number of plate appearances.

Buster Posey
One of the Giants’ stars, Posey has failed to live up to his 2012 NL MVP season, when he batted .336 with a .957 OPS. Over the last two seasons, Posey is batting .288 with a .801 OPS.

The key to Posey’s success might be a positional change. In his MLB career, Posey has a .361 BA and .996 OPS when playing first base. Those numbers drop to a .292 BA and .822 OPS when he’s in the lineup as a catcher.

Pablo Sandoval
After a rough start, Sandoval has turned his season around.

Through May 10, Sandoval was hitting .173 and striking out in more than 20 percent of his at-bats. Since then, his batting average is .332, and his strikeout rate is down to 11 percent.

His free-swinging style has worked for him. This season, no batter has swung at more pitches outside the strike zone than Sandoval’s 43 percent; he ranked second in that statistic last season. But he is hitting .255 on pitches out of the zone, the third-best mark in the NL and well above the MLB average of .163.

Why aren't Dodgers great? Look to the stars

July, 19, 2014
With the past season’s success, their $230 million payroll and a cadre of easily recognizable players, the Dodgers were considered the heavy frontrunners for the National League West and among the favorites for the World Series.

Entering Saturday’s action, however, the team is 54-44 –- good, not great -– and a percentage point behind the Giants in the NL West. What's more, the Dodgers are only 6-7 in July.

The reasons the Dodgers aren’t better is actually quite simple: The players perceived to be –- and paid to be –- stars are, in fact, playing nothing like stars.

If you use Wins Above Replacement, the lack of production from Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Adrián González becomes apparent. Those three are being paid a combined $58 million this season yet have combined to produce below replacement level, at -0.7 WAR.

Perhaps it’s helpful to think of them not by their star names, but by comparisons to players at the same position producing at the same level. In other words, Kemp, Ethier and González have been as good as the decidedly less famous Domonic Brown, Ben Revere and Mark Reynolds.

If you replaced Kemp, Ethier and González with Brown, Revere and Reynolds, the team wouldn’t have been any worse off this season, and far fewer people would be asking the question: Why aren’t the Dodgers better?

It would be obvious; their players aren’t that good. Using OPS, we can see that all three of those players (and to a lesser extent, Hanley Ramirez) are playing well off their previously established levels of performance. All three players have posted an OPS at least 100 points below their combined OPS from the previous three seasons.

It doesn’t get any more optimistic when you dig into each player individually. All three are not only playing below expectations this season, but are also in the midst of a prolonged decline:

Adrian Gonzalez
González is hitting .224 since the beginning of May and has two fewer home runs in the past two and a half months (6) than he did in April (8).

He is hitting just .280 with a .781 OPS since being acquired by the Dodgers in late August 2012, compared to .321/.895 while in a Red Sox uniform.

Matt Kemp
Only two position players in the NL have been worse by WAR than Kemp this season, as he’s cost the Dodgers more than a win with his play (-1.3). Since the start of the past season, he’s been worth below replacement level (-0.8). After hitting .315 with a .954 OPS during his peak in 2011-12, Kemp has hit just .268 with a .740 OPS since the start of the past season.

Kemp was worth 8.2 WAR in 2011 and signed a $160M contract following that season. He’s been worth 1.6 WAR in 2012, 2013 and 2014 (so far) combined.

Andre Ethier
Ethier hit .284 in 2012 and .272 in 2013 and is hitting .250 so far this season. His slugging percentage was .460 in 2012 and .423 in 2013 and is .375 this season. Both his current .250 batting average and .375 slugging percentage would be the worst marks of his career.

He hit 20 home runs in 2012 and 12 the past season but has four this season, entering Saturday.

Top stats to know: Giants at Dodgers

April, 6, 2014
The San Francisco Giants will visit the Los Angeles Dodgers on ESPN2's "Sunday Night Baseball" at 8 ET.

Here are some storylines to watch for tonight.

Matt Cain
Cain will be on the bump for the Giants tonight making his second start of the season. After allowing an impossible-to-sustain nine home runs in 2011, Cain has seen more of his fly balls go for home runs over the last two seasons – 21 in 2012 and 23 last season.

Cain was a much better pitcher in the second half than he was in the first half last season.

Buster Posey
At age 27, Posey already has one NL MVP to his name. Over the last two seasons he has produced 12.8 Wins Above Replacement (WAR), fourth-most by a catcher in his age 25-26 seasons in MLB history.

Since the start of the 2012 season, no player has been better at hitting balls up in the zone than Posey. His .359 batting average on such pitches rank first (he ranks second in OPS at 1.132).

Zack Greinke
Greinke will take the mound for the second time this season. Greinke is winless in two career starts against the Giants.

Just how precise is Greinke with his pitches? We have the ability to show pitchers with the most pitches “on the corners”. In 2010, Greinke ranked ninth in baseball with most pitches on the corners, and ranked tied for 11th in 2012.

When he returned from injury in May of last season, Greinke was once again one of the most prolific at dotting the corners.

San Francisco is in position to sweep the series. But the Elias Sports Bureau tells us that Greinke was 6-0 in games that immediately followed a Dodgers loss last season and LA has won nine of his 10 such starts since coming to the Dodgers. Greinke is 1-0 in that situation this season.

Kenley Jansen
Jansen has been among the most dominant relievers of all-time from a strikeout perspective, as he has three of the 35 highest single-season K/9 totals in MLB history (min. 50 IP).

But what’s helped him take the next step has been the steady reduction in his walk rate. After walking nearly 14% of batters faced in 2010, he walked just over six percent last season.

Stat of the Game
Andre Ethier is hitting .441 in his career against Matt Cain, the highest career batting average against Cain among all players with at least 30 plate appearances.

Soriano's slam powers Yankees

August, 15, 2013

AP Photo/Kathy Willens
New York Yankees Alfonso Soriano watches his first-inning, grand slam off Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Jered Weaver. Soriano finished with two home runs and a career-high seven RBI in the game.

Alfonso Soriano has been red hot over the last two games going 6-for-9 with four home runs and 13 RBI during that stretch.

His RBI total is the most by a New York Yankees player over a two-game span since 1936 when Tony Lazzeri had 15, an MLB record.
Soriano blasted two home runs Wednesday, marking his fifth multi-home run game of the season, a career best.

He also became the fifth Yankee to be perfect at the plate with two homers and seven RBI in a single game. The others? Jason Giambi, Danny Tartabull, Joe DiMaggio (twice) and Lou Gehrig (twice).

A lot of Soriano’s success has come against fastballs. He’s seen 12 heaters in the strike zone, swung at 10 and only missed one. Of his 10 swings, five went for hits including three home runs.

The Los Angeles Dodgers extended their winning streak to eight straight games with a dramatic 12th-inning come-from-behind victory over the New York Mets. Andre Ethier tied the game in the ninth inning with a two-run home run, his ninth go-ahead/game-tying HR in the ninth inning or later in the last five seasons, third behind Miguel Cabrera (12) and Jay Bruce (10) in that span.

Adrian Gonzalez played hero with his seventh career walk-off hit (second as a Dodger) as he drove in Yasiel Puig who reached on a double off a deflected groundball to center field.

It’s the Dodgers longest winning streak since a nine-game run from May 9-18, 2010.

The Arizona Diamondbacks have had a flare for dramatics lately, too. They’ve recorded three straight walk-off wins for the third time in franchise history (1999, 2007).

Their 10 walk-off wins are the most in the National League this season and their 12 extra-inning wins is a franchise record.

Aaron Hill was the hero Wednesday as he tied the game in ninth inning with an RBI single and later won the game in 14th inning.

If you flash back to Tuesday night, Paul Goldschmidt had a game-tying hit in the ninth and a walk-off hit in extras. The Elias Sports Bureau tells us it's the first time in baseball's expansion era (since 1961) that teammates have accomplished this in consecutive days.

Ethier strikes again in familiar scenario

July, 20, 2013
Andre Ethier was able to golf a tough pitch out of the ballpark.

Andre Ethier's penchant for the big home run resurfaced on Friday night.

Ethier’s go-ahead homer led to another Dodgers win, their 18th in the last 23 games (tied with the Rays for the best record in the majors since June 22) and extended a noteworthy statistical streak.

Ethier has now hit at least one home run that tied a game or put the Dodgers ahead in the ninth inning or later in each of the last seven seasons.

In 2009, Ethier became known for this sort of thing, hitting four walk-off home runs. He’s sprinkled one of the game-tying or go-ahead each in each of the other six seasons, this one against Washington Nationals reliever Rafael Soriano.

He has seven go-ahead homers that late in a game in the last five seasons, tied for most in the majors with Matt Kemp, Adam Jones, Chris Young and Jay Bruce.

Inside the Matchup
This marked the third time that Soriano faced Ethier and the second time that Ethier hit a game-winning home run against him. The first came in 2009, a three-run walk-off shot when Soriano was a member of the Atlanta Braves.

That one was against a 96 mph fastball over the middle of the plate.

This one was a bit tougher, off a slider that dropped below the knees.

In the five seasons for which we have pitch-performance data, Ethier has 12 homers against pitches catalogued as sliders, but this is the only one of the dozen that came against a pitch out of the strike zone.

The slider is a pitch that Soriano has cut back on using in 2013 and there may be good reason for that. He’s allowed three homers on the 91 sliders he’s been charted as throwing this season. He gave up four among the 440 sliders he threw last season.

Comfort zone
Ethier has had a couple of measures of success this season that may not be easy to explain.

He’s hitting .302 in the No. 5 spot in the lineup and .226 everywhere else in the batting order.

He’s also hitting .226 at home, but a solid .311 with a .393 on-base percentage in 44 road games, thanks to a .382 batting average on balls in play.

As the chart on the right notes, Ethier’s fly balls and line drives are finding the right spots.

On Friday night, the right spot just happened to be out of the ballpark.

Dodgers blues: offense disappears in June

June, 28, 2012

AP PhotoThe Dodgers are having one of the worst Junes in history and now may be without Andre Ethier.
Once the darlings of baseball and the hottest team on the West Coast, the Los Angeles Dodgers have fallen off a cliff this past month, perhaps reaching their lowest point of the season yesterday.

Not only did they suffer a historic sweep against the San Francisco Giants during which they scored zero runs, but Andre Ethier left the game with an oblique injury and could join Matt Kemp on the disabled list soon.

The Dodgers offense has struggled mightily since Kemp went on the DL for the second time May 31… how low can they go now that Ethier might be on the sidelines indefinitely too?

For the first time in franchise history, they were shut out in series sweep of three or more games, according to Elias. The Dodgers have been shut out a major-league-high five times in June; they were shut out just once in the first two months of the season. Even worse, the Dodgers have six home runs this month; 11 players in the league have more in June.

The Dodgers went 1-8 on their nine-game road trip, scoring a total of 13 runs. Perhaps the most embarrassing part of the trip for Dodgers fans is that six of those losses came against their California rivals – the Oakland Athletics and Giants – as they were outscored 24-2 in the two series.

The Dodgers are hitting just .219 with an OPS of .590 in June, both of which would be their worst marks in the month over the last 90 seasons. They have hit just six home runs in 25 games, a rate of 0.24 homers per game that would be their lowest in June since they averaged 0.14 per game in 1946.

Can the Dodgers offense survive without their two main offensive stars? Consider that if Kemp and Ethier are out of the lineup, that leaves A.J. Ellis as the only Dodgers player with more than three home runs. Kemp and Ethier have combined to hit 22 homers this season; the rest of the team has hit just 22.

Tonight the Dodgers return to Chavez Ravine to face the New York Mets, who are coming off a 17-1 win at Wrigley Field, in an unprecedented matchup of teams headed in different directions.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it will be the first game in major-league history matching a team that scored 15 or more runs in its last game versus an opponent that was shut out in each of its previous three games.

The Dodgers will be challenged to break their scoreless streak against a Mets team that has eight shutouts this season, the second-most in the NL. One thing they can probably count on, however, is a strong start from Chris Capuano, who is 5-0 with a 1.57 ERA in seven home outings this season.

Andre Ethier's new contract: Smart move?

June, 13, 2012

Harry How/Getty Images
Andre Ethier recently signed a 5-year, $85 million contract extension.
With his new 5-year, $85 million contract, Andre Ethier becomes tied for the 8th-highest paid outfielder in baseball among non-expired contracts. It also makes him the 3rd-most well-compensated Los Angeles Dodgers player in franchise history, behind only Matt Kemp and Kevin Brown.

While no one would dispute that Ethier is a good player, he’s a player with some pretty clear flaws. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, they are flaws that could require him to switch positions or, even worse, relegate him to part-time status.

Ethier has a 5-year track record of some pretty eye-opening platoon splits; for his career, he has a .308/.384/.525 line against right-handed pitchers and a .246/.307/.366 line against left-handed pitchers. The numbers might suggest he’s a star against righties and closer to mediocrity against lefties.

While Ethier’s batting average and OPS against left-handed pitchers is better this season than it has been in any season since his rookie 2006 campaign, his OPS had declined each season from 2007 to 2011. It’s possible this is a change in approach for Ethier, but at 30 years old, it’s also possible we’re seeing a first-half hot run.

In addition to his pronounced platoon splits, Ethier has also been a liability in the field. Among right fielders with at least 3,000 innings played since 2007, Ethier has saved the 6th-fewest runs according to the Defensive Runs Saved statistic.

It should be noted that while Ethier has improved in both of these areas so far this season – against left-handed pitching and in the field – it is important to weigh this 50-game improvement against a five-season track record of decline/poor performance. Based on his new contract, it would appear as though the Dodgers are banking on genuine improvement.

From 2007-11, the highest Ethier ranked in Wins Above Replacement was 23rd out of 57 qualifying outfielders, squarely in the middle of the pack. To this point in his career, he has not produced a single season with a WAR of 3.0 or greater.

Since the start of the 2011 season, which includes his red-hot 2012 start, Ethier still doesn’t rank well relative to all position players. His 4.3 WAR over that stretch ranks 63rd among all position players in baseball.

And perhaps the most damning point: In MLB history, there have been 27 contracts given to position players – including Andre Ethier’s – of at least five years in length and $17 million per season. Of those 27 contracts, no player has produced less to that point in his career than Ethier, as measured by Wins Above Replacement.
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories

1. TWO HAT TRICKS: The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 8-5, to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Claude Giroux had three goals and three assists to set a team record for most points in a playoff game. Rookie Sean Couturier also had three goals. The Flyers became the fourth team in the expansion era to have multiple hat tricks in the same playoff game.

2. TWO SHORTHANDED GOALS: The Los Angeles Kings defeated the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks, 4-2, to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Quarterfinals. FROM ELIAS: Dustin Brown became the 13th player in NHL history to score a pair of shorthanded goals in a playoff game, but he is the first of those players to account for his team's first two goals in that manner.

Aaron Harang
3. HARANG MAKES HISTORY: The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Diego Padres, 9-8, on Andre Ethier’s bases-loaded walk in the ninth inning. FROM ELIAS: After allowing a leadoff single, Dodgers starting pitcher Aaron Harang struck out nine straight batters, falling one shy of the MLB record of 10 set by Tom Seaver against the Padres in 1970. Three other pitchers had nine consecutive strikeouts in a game: Mickey Welch in 1884, Jake Peavy in 2007 and Ricky Nolasco in 2009.

4. 30 THEN 30: FROM ELIAS: Andrew Bynum scored a game-high 30 points and led the Kobe-less Los Angeles Lakers to a 103-97 victory over the Denver Nuggets. Bynum, who had 30 rebounds in the Lakers’ last game, at San Antonio on Wednesday, became the first NBA player with 30 rebounds in one game and 30 points in the next since Moses Malone had 32 rebounds (and also 38 points) on Feb. 11, 1982, and then scored 32 points in his next game, two days later.

Alex Rodriguez
5. A-ROD TIES THE KID: The New York Yankees defeated the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 5-0, in their home opener. Alex Rodriguez went 3-for-4, hitting his 630th career home run. He tied former teammate Ken Griffey Jr. for fifth on the all-time list. FROM ELIAS: A-Rod and Junior played 587 games as teammates with the Mariners from 1994 to 1999; when Rodriguez left Seattle following the 2000 season to sign as a free agent with the Rangers, he trailed Griffey by exactly 250 career homers, 398 to 148.

6. MISSING SUPERMAN: Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard has been diagnosed with a herniated disk in his lower back. There is no timetable for his return. This will certainly impact the Orlando defense moving forward. The Magic have allowed opponents to score 7.0 points per game more when Howard is not on the court this season.
AP Photo/LM OteroNeftali Feliz pitched seven shutout innings in his first major-league start.
Tuesday marked the first major league starts for former bullpen stalwarts Neftali Feliz and Daniel Bard. Both were successful in the bullpen, but only one handled the transition well in his debut.

Feliz was facing off with a familiar foe as the Texas Rangers hosted the Seattle Mariners. Entering the game, the Mariners had not recorded a hit in 48 at-bats against Feliz. Justin Smoak finally broke the hitless drought with two outs in the fourth inning.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 58 at-bats before allowing a hit is the longest streak to start a career against one team in the expansion era (since 1961). The record was previously held by Billy Wagner, who held the Pittsburgh Pirates hitless in their first 48 at-bats from 1996 to 2001.

Feliz was able to handle the move to the bullpen by mixing up his pitches. As a reliever, he threw a fastball on 80 percent of his pitches. The first time through the Seattle order on Tuesday, he threw heat on 69 percent of his pitches. After that, he relied on his fastball only 39 percent of the time.

For the game, Feliz mixed in sliders on 26 percent of his pitches and changeups on 23 percent. Mariners hitters were 1-for-8 in at-bats ending with a changeup, including two strikeouts.

Bard wasn’t as fortunate in his transition to the rotation. He allowed five earned runs without recording an out in the sixth inning as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Boston Red Sox 7-3.

In three years as a reliever, he threw fastballs 71 percent of the time and sliders 21 percent of the time. The key to his success out of the bullpen was his slider. Opponents missed nearly half the times they swung at the pitch. He was able to coax swings on sliders outside the zone nearly a third of the time.

On Tuesday, he threw the slider 35 percent of the time and was just as successful. The Blue Jays missed on nine of their 14 swings against the slider and four of Bard’s six strikeouts came on the pitch. But they were able to tee off on his fastball, getting eight hits in 17 at-bats ending with the pitch.

Bard was unable to establish a third pitch during the game. In the first four innings, he threw only four changeups and all of them missed the strike zone. He found the zone with three of six changeups to his last five batters and induced a groundout by Adam Lind.

Quick hits
Freddy Garcia tied the American League record with five wild pitches in his start against the Baltimore Orioles.

Jayson Werth recorded his eighth career four-hit game, his first since June 27, 2009.

The Detroit Tigers are the last undefeated team in the American League, despite not getting a decision from their starters.

The Atlanta Braves snapped a nine-game losing streak dating to last season with a win at the Houston Astros.

Andre Ethier celebrated his 30th birthday by hitting the game-winning home run in the bottom of the eighth, his 11th career go-ahead home run in the eighth inning or later.

Dan Braunstein contributed to this post.
The National League made it two wins in a row at the All-Star Game for the first time since it won three straight from 1994-96, with a 5-1 victory at Chase Field Tuesday night. Before last season's win, the NL had been winless in 13 straight All-Star Games.

Prince Fielder
It’s the first time since a 9-4 AL win in 2004 that the game has been decided by more than two runs, and it’s the largest victory margin for the NL since a 6-0 win in 1996. The NL has allowed just one run in each of the last two contests, the first time they’ve done that since 1984 and 1985.

This marks the sixth consecutive All-Star Game in which the winning team has not scored more than five runs. That matches the longest such streak in the history of the game, set from 1986-91.

Prince Fielder put the NL in the lead for good with a three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning. He’s the first Brewer to homer in an All-Star Game and the sixth player in the last 35 seasons to hit a three-run homer or a grand slam in the Midsummer Classic. The last to do it was Alfonso Soriano in 2004.

Fielder earned MVP honors for his performance, becoming the first Brewer to be named MVP at the All-Star Game and just the fourth first baseman to win the award.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Fielder is the fourth son of a major-leaguer to win All-Star Game MVP. The others are Ken Griffey Jr (1992), Sandy Alomar (1997) and Roberto Alomar (1998).

Roy Halladay, who was the first pitcher to start an All-Star Game in both leagues, threw two perfect innings for the NL. In his first five All-Star appearances Halladay had been knocked around, allowing 13 hits in 29 at-bats.

The AL didn’t have a player reach base until the fourth inning, when Adrian Gonzalez homered, snapping a streak of 3⅔ perfect innings pitched by NL pitchers. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the longest perfect game bid in an All-Star Game since a 4⅓ inning bid by the AL in 1986.

Gonzalez's home run was the first homer by either team in an All-Star game since J.D. Drew went yard in the seventh inning of the 2008 game. That ended a drought of 206 at-bats in the All-Star Game without a home run.

C.J. Wilson took the loss, allowing all three runs in the fourth inning. Wilson is the second Rangers pitcher to lose an All-Star Game, joining Jim Kern in 1979.

Tyler Clippard
Tyler Clippard pitched a scoreless one-third of an inning for the win. He’s the fouth pitcher to win an All-Star Game in Nationals/Expos franchise history. Matt Capps won last year, Steve Rogers won in 1982 and Charlie Lea won in 1984.

Brian Wilson got the final two outs for the save. He’s the first Giants pitcher to get a save in an All-Star Game since the save became an official stat in 1969.

What does the National League’s win mean for the Senior Circuit team that reaches the World Series? Since 1985, the team with home-field advantage has won 20 of the last 25 World Series. And if it goes to a decisive Game 7, the home team has won each of the last eight times, with the last road win in a Game 7 by the 1979 Pirates.
The Los Angeles Dodgers capped an eventful day with one of the biggest offensive outbursts in franchise history. They pounded out 25 hits en route to a 15-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins, their second straight win after a stretch of 11 losses in 16 games.

They are the first team in baseball this season with at least 25 hits and 15 runs in a game, and it's the first time the Dodgers have accomplished that since 2006.

Their top four hitters Monday -- Tony Gwynn, Casey Blake, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp -- combined to go 13-for-20 with two HR and six RBI, with just two strikeouts. Trent Oeltjen went 4-for-4 giving the Dodgers three player with at least four hits in the same game for the first time since July 26, 2002 against the San Francisco Giants (according to Elias).

Every Dodgers starter had a multihit game. According to Elias that's the first time they've done that since May 18, 1949 when they were in Brooklyn! They beat the Cubs 14-5 that day with a starting lineup featuring FOUR Hall of Famers.

It’s tied for the second-most hits by a team in an Interleague game all-time, behind only the 28 hits the Boston Red Sox got against the Florida Marlins exactly eight years ago. It’s tied for the most hits the Dodgers have had in a game since moving to Los Angeles in 1958.

Elias also tells us that it’s the second-largest shutout win ever in an Interleague game, trailing only the 16-0 Athletics win over the Giants in 2005.

The last time the Dodgers won a shutout by at least 15 runs was all the way back in 1969, when they beat the expansion San Diego Padres 19-0. They did it with the help of just one home run, and with Don Drysdale on the hill.

Ethier brings long hit streak to New York

May, 6, 2011
Andre Ethier
The last time a Dodger brought as long a hitting streak as Andre Ethier is into a meeting with the New York Mets, an ESPN baseball analyst named Bobby Valentine was making his big league debut.

Willie Davis was able to extend his hitting streak to a club-record 30 games in a meeting with the Mets on Sept. 2, 1969. But later in the game, after a call of “In comes Valentine!” from Los Angeles Dodgers radio voice Vin Scully on a two-run single by Andy Kosco, Mets reliever Tug McGraw struck Davis out with the tying run on third base to end a 5-4 Mets victory, one of many amazing wins for the eventual champs. Davis upped his streak to 31 the next day, a number that still stands as the Dodgers' top mark.

Ethier will get a chance to better Davis at Citi Field, with Jonathon Niese the first moundsman in his way.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Ethier will be the fifth hitter to bring a hit streak of 29 or more games into a meeting with the Mets, along with Davis, Pete Rose, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley. Rose was able to set the NL record for a hitting streak by hitting in his 37th, 38th and 39th straight games against the Mets in 1978. (The streak would stretch to 44 games before ending.)

Rollins reached 33 games with hits in three straight games against the Mets late in 2005. The one hitter the Mets stymied was his teammate, Utley, who had his 35-gamer snuffed on Aug. 4, 2006 by Orlando Hernandez, Darren Oliver and Pedro Feliciano.

Ethier will have to defy his history against the Mets. His. 147 batting average is the third-worst of any position player with 100 at-bats against them, trailing Jerry Turner (.129) and Clint Barmes (.140).

To see how Ethier and his streak could fare against the Mets starters that are lined up for their weekend series, check this out.

Ethier's chase of DiMaggio at halfway point

May, 3, 2011
Today’s Trivia: Andre Ethier has hit in 28 consecutive games, halfway to Joe DiMaggio’s record 56-game streak. Who holds the all-time "professional" baseball hit streak record?

A closer look at Andre Ethier’s 28-game hit streak:
He’s hitting .393 with 10 multi-hit games since the streak started on April 2.

He hasn’t waited long to continue the streak, extending it in the first inning eight times and the fourth inning (usually his second at-bat) seven times.
Andre Ethier

Since Joe DiMaggio’s streak in 1941, Ethier is the 40th different player to make it halfway to 56 in a single season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, 23 made it to 30 straight games, and only six made it to 35.

Assuming he plays each game and there aren't any rainouts, Ethier would tie DiMaggio’s hit streak on June 1 against the Colorado Rockies. Game No. 57 would be on June 3 at the Cincinnati Reds.

Prior to his current streak, Ethier’s longest hitting streak was 16 games, from July 26-Aug. 12 of 2006. That’s his only other double-digit hit streak.

Looking Ahead to Tuesday night:
• Evan Longoria -- out since April 2 with a strained left oblique -- is expected to return to the Tampa Bay Rays. There are two ways to illustrate Longoria's value to the Rays.

In terms of basic statistics, Rays’ third basemen in Longoria’s absence hit less than .200 (.188) with 11 RBI and 32 strikeouts.

Using more advanced measures, Longoria led American League position players from 2008-10 in Wins Above Replacement (WAR), which measures a player's offensive and defensive value compared to a player who would be used to replace him. He ranked third in all of baseball in WAR from 2008-10, behind Albert Pujols and Chase Utley.

• After hitting three grand slams in 2010, the Florida Marlins already have a major-league leading three following Gaby Sanchez’s first career slam Monday at St. Louis.

• Raul Ibanez is hitless in his last 34 at-bats. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only three other position players since 2005 had droughts of 0-for-34 or worse within one season: Brad Ausmus was 0-for-40 in 2006; Josh Wilson 0-for-35 in 2007; and Akinori Iwamura was 0-for-34 in 2010.

• The San Diego Padres Mat Latos will take the mound tonight against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Dating to last season, Latos has lost nine consecutive starts, tied with Andy Benes (1993-94) Dennis Rasmussen (1991)for the longest losing streak in franchise history.

Trivia Answer: Joe Wilhoit holds the all-time "professional" baseball hit streak record. He hit in 69 consecutive games for the 1919 Wichita Jobbers, who played in the Western League (minor leagues).
With April in the books, let's take a look at the first month that was in the major leagues.

We called 2010 the Year of the Pitcher and 2011 is shaping up to be the same -- or better. Since the mound was lowered in 1969, no March/April has had a higher strikeout rate than in 2011. League-wide walk rate is also the second lowest it’s been during the last 43 years, and not surprisingly, strikeout-to-walk ratio is also the best it’s ever been.

And according to Inside Edge, only 20.2 percent of at-bats have ended with a “well hit” ball this season. That’s the lowest rate in March/April since 2007.

One thing to note, is that 29 pitchers (min 30 IP) last season had a fastball that averaged 95 MPH or higher, by far the most since velocity data is available going back to 2002. This season, only 16 pitchers are averaging 95 or higher.

Jered Weaver, LAA

Opponents are missing on 26.3 percent of their swings against Weaver this season, (26.1 last season, 10th among qualified pitchers). From 2006 to 2009, Weaver’s miss percentage was just 21.4. Last season, Weaver took more hitters to two-strike counts than any pitcher in baseball and led baseball in strikeouts. This season he's first and second, respecitvely.

Josh Johnson, FLA
Before his start Saturday, Johnson had not allowed a hit in the first three innings in his previous five starts. In three of his six starts, he pitched at least 5 ⅔ innings of no-hit ball. Johnson alone has three of the eight total no-hit bids of at least 5 ⅔ innings this season. According to Elias, he was the first pitcher in the last 50 years with three starts of at least 5 ⅔ no-hit innings in April.

Weaver had the lowest opponents' batting average against his fastball and Johnson had the lowest against his slider.

Jose Bautista, TOR

Bautista has carried over his tremendous 2010 season. His nine homers lead the American League and are well ahead of his 2010 pace when he finished with an MLB-best 54 homers. He also leads the AL in OBP and slugging percentage.

Andre Ethier, LAD
Ethier’s 26-game hitting streak is the longest ever for a single season in April and the second-longest by a Dodgers player since the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1958.

There's nothing good to throw these guys; Bautista leads the majors in batting average against sliders and Ethier is second in batting average against changeups.

Successful stolen base attempts resulted in a run 36 percent of the time in March and April, but potential for runs has collateral damage: the batters. Hitters who were at bat during a steal attempt have hit just four home runs in 523 at-bats and are well below league averages in batting average and strikeout rate. Johnny Damon has been the poster child for poor hitting after a steal, going 0-for-7 with five strikeouts … all on Sam Fuld attempts.

The Yankees have made the most of their 19 stolen base attempts, scoring eight runs, the highest percentage of runners to score following a steal attempt this season. The Braves have scored just once in 14 attempts, the worst percentage in the league.
Andre Ethier
With his RBI double in the first inning Tuesday, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier extended his hit streak to 23 straight games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it's the longest hit streak in April in MLB history.

Ethier broke the record of 22 games set by Joe Torre in 1972. It's the longest hit streak by a Dodger since Paul LoDuca's 25-game streak in 2003.

Ethier is now hitting .386 (34-for-88) this month, including a scorching .407 (11-for-27) the last week.

Elsewhere around the diamond:
• Paul Konerko hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the eighth inning as the White Sox won consecutive games for the first time since April 9-10. The home run was Konerko's 15th career go-ahead home run in the eighth inning or later, according to

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Konerko now has 10 home runs in the Bronx, all of which have come as a member of the White Sox. That's the third-most home runs for a White Sox player at the old-or-new Yankee Stadiums, behind Joe Kuhel (16) and Harold Baines (11).

• Rafael Soriano’s struggles continued for the Yankees, allowing two runs in one inning of work Tuesday. He has now allowed 9 earned runs in 10⅓ innings this year (allowed 12 ER in 62⅓ IP last year). This is the third time this season that Soriano has allowed multiple runs in a game -- he only had two such outings in 2010.

Ryan Braun
• The Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Cincinnati Reds for the first time this season. The Brewers had lost 19 of their last 22 against the Reds.

Ryan Braun has reached base in 23 straight games to start the season, tying Robin Yount's team record set in 1983. Additionally, Braun and teammate Prince Fielder homered in the same game for the 28th time since Braun broke into the majors in 2007 -- the most by teammates over that span, according to Elias.

• With a win against the Kansas City Royals, Justin Masterson (6 IP, 3 ER) became just the third Cleveland Indians pitcher to win each of his first five starts with an ERA under 2.20, joining Cliff Lee (2008) and Bob Lemon (1955), according to Elias. Masterson now is 5-0 against the Royals.

• Zach Britton (4-1) allowed one run in six innings in a win against the Boston Red Sox. He is the first Orioles rookie to win four games in April since Willis Roberts in 2001. According to Elias, he's also the first Orioles pitcher with at least four wins in his first five career starts since Wally Bunker in 1964.

• In his third win of the season, Seattle Mariners starter Felix Hernandez got at least six runs of support for the third time this season in six starts. Last season, the Mariners scored at least six runs in only three of Hernandez's 34 starts.