Only one Dodgers player has recorded a longer hitting streak
than Andre Ethier since the team relocated to Los Angeles in
A three-game set against one of the worst starting rotations in
baseball could help him inch closer to the club’s all-time record
and join an impressive list of names.
Ethier looks to continue his hot hitting as the Dodgers try for
a ninth win in 12 home games against the Chicago Cubs on Monday
An infield single in the seventh inning of Sunday’s 7-0 loss to
San Diego extended Ethier’s hitting streak to 27 games and moved
him within four of matching Willie Davis’ franchise record set in
“I was just trying to figure out a way to get the job done and
get on base – a walk, error, hit anything that gives us a chance to
start scoring runs, especially in a ballgame like that where not
much offense is being shown,” Ethier said.
The Dodgers (14-15), who have averaged 2.6 runs en route to
losing four of six, are likely looking forward to facing Chicago’s
struggling starters, a group that has a major league-worst 6.12
James Russell (1-3, 8.31 ERA) starts for the Cubs. He has
allowed 19 hits in 9 2-3 innings over three starts this season,
compiling an 11.17 ERA during that span. Russell gave up four runs
and five hits in four innings of Tuesday’s 4-3 loss to
“I get paid to throw a baseball, so whenever they want me to
throw it, I’ll throw it,” Russell, who was used primarily out of
the bullpen prior to a slew of injuries to the rotation, told the
Cubs’ official website.
Ethier, batting .417 with eight RBIs during a six-game hitting
streak against the Cubs (12-15), is 0 for 1 versus Russell, against
whom opponents are batting .362 this year.
If the All-Star outfielder can record a hit against the
left-hander as well as Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano –
scheduled to start for Chicago on Tuesday and Wednesday – he’ll
join Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Luis Castillo, Albert Pujols,
Willy Taveras, Moises Alou and Ryan Zimmerman as the only players
to hit safely in at least 30 straight games in a season since 2000.
Ethier is 7 for 19 against Dempster and 7 for 16 against
Chicago, which fell 4-3 at Arizona on Sunday thanks in part to
going 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position, could be quieted
again by Clayton Kershaw (2-3, 3.52).
While Kershaw allowed a combined three runs in 19 2-3 innings
during his first three starts, he has gone 0-2 with a 5.79 ERA in
his last three outings. He surrendered four runs and six hits in 5
1-3 innings of a 4-2 loss at Florida on Tuesday.
“There are a couple of pitches I’d like to have back,” Kershaw
said. “If I had to do it all over again, maybe I throw a couple of
pitches at a different location.”
The left-hander is 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA in two career starts
against the Cubs. He held them to two runs and seven hits in eight
innings while striking out 12 in a 3-2 home win July 8.
Starlin Castro, hitting a team-best .336, is 0 for 6 lifetime
versus Kershaw. In contrast, Marlon Byrd, who has hit safely in
eight of nine games overall, has five hits in six at-bats against