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Dodgers' suddenly struggling offense looks like it badly misses Andre Ethier

May 28, 2010 |  7:27 am

"Won’t you come home, Andre Ethier, won’t you come home?

"The Dodgers moan the whole day long."

And right now, Ned Colletti will do the cooking and Frank McCourt will gladly pay the rent. Anyway, I’m assuming that last part.

What has become abundantly clear the past few games is, the Dodgers badly miss Ethier.

Since he was only the best hitter in baseball at the time he broke his pinky, that’s hardly surprising. Yet at first, the Dodgers just marched on. The offense still effective, the victories still piling up.

But in two of their last three games, the Dodgers were shut out. And not exactly by Tim Lincecum and Ubaldo Jimenez, either. Ryan Dempster and Ted Lilly are fine pitchers, but shouldn’t be holding the Dodgers to six hits (all singles) and zero runs in 15 combined innings.

The Dodgers offense looked flat. Looked in need of a lift. In need of Ethier.

It doesn’t help that Manny Ramirez hasn’t hit a home run since the Truman administration. And that vaunted "balance" of his looked completely out of whack when he was struck out pinch hitting in the ninth Thursday by Carlos Marmol. He did not exactly look focused.

Last year was considered a break out season for Ethier, but then he started 2010 like the next coming of Joe DiMaggio. The only thing that has really slowed him down is the broken finger.

The injury has apparently healed much quicker than anyone anticipated. He is scheduled to make a pair of rehab starts Friday and Saturday and could be activated Monday.

Right now, Monday can’t come quick enough for the Dodgers.

-- Steve Dilbeck