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Andre Ethier a star still on the rise, as Dodgers drop Pirates, 5-1

Andre Ethier, the best player on the Dodgers, is providing the kind of consistency teams can only dream about.

One month into the season, he has been an offensive force almost across the board. OK, he’s empty in the stolen-base department.

Otherwise, he dots the National League top 10 in almost every offensive statistical category.

He added to his impressive start Saturday night in the Dodgers’ 5-1 victory over the Pirates.

Ethier hit his second home run in as many nights, this one a three-run shot, and added a pair of doubles.

On the season he is batting .350 with seven home runs and 22 RBI, boasting a ridiculous .663 slugging percentage.

Ethier seems to do something almost every night. He’s suffered an 0-for only twice in 20 starts.

Matt Kemp got off to a tremendous start, but has almost disappeared since Manny Ramirez went on the disabled list. Kemp hasn’t driven in a run since April 21, a span of 10 games.

Last season Ethier had a breakthrough season with 31 home runs, 106 RBI, 42 doubles and 92 runs.

It may turn out to be a mere warm-up.

--Steve Dilbeck
 
Comments () | Archives (5)

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Yes, Ethier is the real deal, that's for sure. I think he's the best hitter on the club. (sorry Kemp, Loney and Ramirez). What impressed me on the homer was that it came on an 0-2 pitch, and he may have been fooled a bit...it was an off-speed breaking ball that he hit off his front foot.

He's playing hurt right now - so you wonder how long he can keep it up

From Murray Chass on Baseball (murraychass.com):

You might recall the statistic known as game-winning run batted in. It appeared in box scores for a while. I never liked it because I didn’t like the way it was figured. I thought to be meaningful a game-winning r.b.i. it should have to come in the late innings of a game, not the first inning when it was considered a game-winning r.b.i. if it drove in the run that gave a team a lead it never relinquished.

But Major League Baseball’s public relations department came up with a statistic last week that is worth noting. It told of Andre Ethier and the percentage of his runs batted that won a game, tied a game or put the Dodgers ahead.

For his career, Ethier had produced 47.3 percent, 151 of 319, of his r.b.i. in those circumstances. Of the top 20 active players in r.b.i., Albert Pujols had driven in 47.3 percent and Vladimir Guerrero 47.6 percent in those situations. The percentages of the other 18 were below Ethier’s.

Even more impressive, though, since the start of the 2008 season, Ethier was 26th in r.b.i. But he had produced 112, or 56 percent, that won or tied games or put the Dodgers ahead. Only three other players in the group of 26 were above 50 percent: Jorge Cantu 55.3, Adrian Gonzalez 54.9 and Ryan Howard 50.8.

All of that information was disseminated last Thursday. In the Dodgers’ 6-2 victory over the Pirates Friday night, Ethier slugged a two-run home run in the first inning that put the Dodgers in front, 2-1. In the 5-1 Saturday night victory, Ethier clouted a three-run homer in the third inning that wiped out the Pirates’ 1-0 lead.

I don't know if Ethier can do better than last seasons numbers,but if he does, it wouldn't surprise me.His hard work and passion is paying off for him,the Dodgers and the lucky fans that get to see him evolve.

I'm also proud of his Mexican American roots.He looks like Los Angeles and he fits in Los Angeles.

Filed under the heading "That guy wasn't so bad after all":
It seems to me that three most important pieces of the Dodger puzzle were aquired or drafted by Depodesta. Kershaw, Broxton, and Ethier. Kemp is huge but I can't remember which draft he came out of. Think it was the year before. Thanks Paul, you got a raw deal.


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