Well, so much for keeping tabs on Andre Ethier's hitting streak.
Ethier’s streak came to an end Saturday night against the New York Mets as the Los Angeles Dodgers lost 4-2. Ethier went 0-for-4 with a walk in the losing effort.
It seemed the stars were aligned against Ethier even before the game started. Chris Young, who Ethier has crushed in the past and who was supposed to start last night’s game, was scratched before the start of the game because he couldn’t warm up in the bullpen.
The Mets instead started Dillon Gee, who Ethier has never faced before. Ethier went 0-for-2 with a walk against Gee and then had to face Mike O’Connor and Tim Byrdak in the later innings. Ethier faced O’Connor and Byrdak five time before last night and had one hit in those five PAs. He grounded weakly to second off O’Connor in the sixth and then struck out on a slider about two feet out of the strike zone against Brydak.
Ethier’s only hope for another PA was if the game went into extra innings. But when the Mets scored two runs in the eighth, it was not meant to be.
Last night was just further evidence why breaking Joe DiMaggio’s record of a hit in 56 straight games is going to be the hardest hitting record to break. In just five PAs, Ethier faced three different pitchers and two of those pitchers (O’Connor and Brydak) are tough left-handers, who are on teams specifically to get guys like Ethier out.
Kudos to Ethier for getting to 30 games—that is no easy feat. Only 39 players since 1900 have had a hitting streak of at least 30 games. Coincidentally, 229 pitchers have thrown no-hitters since 1900.