Andre Ethier and the 10 Most Impressive Single-Season Feats in Dodgers History

Gary BurzellCorrespondent IIIMay 11, 2011

Andre Ethier and the 10 Most Impressive Single-Season Feats in Dodgers History

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 03:  Andre Ethier #16 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a base hit against the Chicago Cubs in the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium on May 3, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Andre Ethier’s 30-game hitting streak came to an end against the New York Mets, as he went 0-for-4 with a walk in the losing effort.

    Ethier's hitting streak was pretty impressive, but it still left him one short of the all-time longest hitting streak in Dodgers history.

    Willie Davis' 31-game hitting streak in 1969 still ranks as the longest hitting streak in Dodgers history.

    Davis' 31-game hitting streak broke the organization's previous all-time record of 29 games set by Zack Wheat in 1916.

    Ethier did make history by setting a Major League Baseball record for the longest hitting streak in April.

    Over the years many different Dodgers players have accomplished some outstanding single-season feats.

    The following slides present just some of them.

Sept. 18, 2006: Four Straight Homers in One Game (team)

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 12: Jeff Kent #12 of the Los Angeles Dodgers bats against the Florida Marlins on July 12, 2008 at Dodger Stadiium in Los Angeles, California. The Marlins won 5-3 in 11 innings.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Sept. 18, 2006 is a day most Dodgers fans will never forget.

    The Dodgers and their nemesis the San Diego Padres were involved in a late-season game with the NL West title on the line.

    The Padres got out to a quick 4-0 lead, but the Dodgers came back to make it close at 6-4.

    But then the Padres appeared to bust the game wide open in the top of the ninth against Takashi Saito and took a 9-5 lead going into the bottom of the ninth.

    That's when it happened.

    The Dodgers did something that only three teams in MLB history had been able to do at the time—hit four homers in a row.

    First Jeff Kent and J.D. Drew homered, and then Russell Martin and Marlon Anderson homered on successive pitches by the Padres' ace reliever Trevor Hoffman.

    Dodger Stadium was rocking.

    After all that, the Dodgers—being the Dodgers—fell behind again in the 10th when Brian Giles doubled against Aaron Sele and Josh Bard's single drove him home.

    But all that did was set up one of the most dramatic home runs in recent Dodgers history.
     
    Against Padres pitcher Rudy Seanez, Kenny Lofton walked on a full count, and that brought up Nomar Garciaparra.

    Garciaparra proceeded to belt one into the left-field pavilion for another Dodgers home run.

    Dodger Stadium erupted into a frenzy. The fans, the players—everyone went nuts.

    In a story by Lyle Spencer on MLB.com, the Padres' Josh Barfield said:

    "They acted like they won the division. We split the series, and they're a half-game ahead. We can pick up that half-game, no problem."

    Barfield was right.

    The Padres and Dodgers finished the season tied for first with identical records. Because the Padres won the season series against the Dodgers, they were the NL West champs. The Dodgers were awarded the wild-card berth and were swept by the New York Mets.

    The Padres didn't fare much better against the St. Louis Cardinals and lost their series 3-1.

Shawn Green's Four Home Runs in One Game

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    LOS ANGELES - OCTOBER 9: Shawn Green #15 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits his second home run of the game in the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during game three of their National League Division Series on October 2, 2004 at Dodger Stadium in
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    On April 23, 2002 the Los Angeles Dodgers' Shawn Green hit four home runs in one game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

    Green is one of only 15 players to have hit four home runs in a game in major-league history.

    Green also went 6-for-6 in the game with a double and single to go with his four home runs against the Brewers. His six-hit game is one of only 69 in MLB history.

    Going into that game Shawn Green hadn't hit a home run in four weeks and was in one of his worst slumps as a Los Angeles Dodger.

Wes Parker and Orlando Hudson Hitting for the Cycle

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    Wes Parker -- Photo Credit: The Associated Press
    Wes Parker -- Photo Credit: The Associated PressJacob de Golish/Getty Images

    Only two Los Angeles Dodgers players have ever hit for the cycle: Orlando Hudson on April 13, 2009 and Wes Parker on May 7, 1970.

    Including Hudson and Parker, only eight Dodgers in franchise history have hit for the cycle; Babe Herman, who did it twice, Gil Hodges, Jackie Robinson, Dixie Walker, Jimmy Johnston and Tom Burns all did as well.

    Orlando Hudson's cycle was notable because he did it in the first home game of the season and against the Dodgers' rivals the San Francisco Giants.

    Hudson became the first Dodgers player to hit for the cycle since Wes Parker did it on May 7, 1970 against the Mets at Shea Stadium.

    Also of note is that Wes Parker's cycle came on a 10th-inning triple, making Orlando Hudson the first Dodgers player to hit for the cycle in a nine-inning game since Gil Hodges did it in 1949.

11 Dodgers Who Have Been National League Batting Champions

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    Photo Credit: The Associated Press
    Photo Credit: The Associated Press

    Only one Los Angeles Dodger has ever been the National League batting champion. Tommy Davis did it twice, in 1962 and 1963.

    In 1962 Davis ended the season with a .346 average, and in 1963 he batted .326.

    Davis was a popular player while with the Dodgers and was an integral part of the Dodgers during their very successful seasons during the early 1960s.

    Including Davis, there have been 11 Dodgers to win the National League batting title in team history, including Carl Furillo, who hit .344 in 1953, and Jackie Robinson, who hit .342 in 1949.

Dodgers Who Have Been the National League Single-Season Hits Leader

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    1982:   First baseman Steve Garvey of the Los Angeles Dodgers raises his arm to the crowd. Mandatory Credit: Allsport  /Allsport
    Getty Images/Getty Images

    Only six Dodgers in team history have led the National League in total hits for a season.

    Only two Los Angeles Dodgers have accomplished that feat.

    Tommy Davis led the NL in 1962 with 230 hits, and Steve Garvey did it twice. In 1978 Garvey led the NL with 202 hits, and in 1980 he led the league again with 200 hits.

    Duke Snider, Ivy Olson and Willie Keeler are the other Dodgers who led the league in total hits.

    Steve Garvey is one of the most popular players in Dodgers history and has expressed an interest in buying the Los Angeles Dodgers with an investment group led by Ron Burkle.

Maury Wills' 104 Stolen Bases in 1962

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    Photo Credit: Focus on Sport / Getty Images
    Photo Credit: Focus on Sport / Getty Images

    In 1962 Maury Wills shattered Ty Cobb's 47-year-old record for stolen bases in a season by stealing 104 bases—to Cobb's 96 stolen bases.

    With the fans at Dodger Stadium chanting "Go Maury go—go...go...go," Wills was caught stealing only 13 times on his way to 104 stolen bases. Ty Cobb was caught 38 times in 1915.

    Of course Rickey Henderson now holds the MLB record for stolen bases in a season with 130, but for Dodger fans the 1962 season is one that they will never forget.

Dodger Pitchers with Four K's in One Inning

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 13:  Brad Penny #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning during the game on August 13, 2008 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Moore/Getty Images

    While I knew there had been pitchers who had four strikeouts in one inning, I was surprised at how many had done it.

    Fifty pitchers have struck out four batters in one inning. Yes, you read that right—50 pitchers have done that.

    Just how does a pitcher get four strikeouts in one inning?

    Well, when a batter swings and misses at strike three and the catcher does not field the ball cleanly, the runner can advance to first base if he isn't tagged out.

    While a runner making it to first safely after missing the third strike isn't all that rare, having it happen during a three-strikeout inning is. Then having a pitcher that can get a fourth strikeout during the same inning is even less common.

    Four Dodgers pitchers have been able to accomplish this rare feat: Brad Penny in 2006, Darren Dreifort in 2003, Don Drysdale in 1965 and Pete Richert in 1962.

Don Drysdale's Six Consecutive Shutouts in 1968

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    Photo Credit: The Associated Press
    Photo Credit: The Associated Press

    In 1968 Don Drysdale pitched six consecutive shutouts on his way to what at the time was a record 58.2 consecutive scoreless innings. Drysdale's 58.2 scoreless innings broke the old record of 56 scoreless innings that was set by Walter Johnson in 1913.

    Drysdale's record was broken by Orel Hershiser during the 1988 season that saw the Dodgers win their last World Series—more on that in another slide.

    1968 has often been called the "Year of the Pitcher." That was the year Denny McLain of the Detroit Tigers won 31 games and Bob Gibson of the St. Louis Cardinals posted a 22-9 record with a 1.12 ERA.

    1968 was also the year that Luis Tiant of the Cleveland Indians led the American League with a 1.60 ERA and held opponents to a .168 batting average for the entire season, a major-league record.

    On September 17 of that year Gaylord Perry of the San Francisco Giants tossed a no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals, and the next day Ray Washburn of the Cardinals no-hit the Giants. It was the first time in major-league history that back-to-back no-hitters had been pitched in the same series.

    In total, 339 shutouts were thrown, and an amazing 82 games ended in scores of 1-0.

    It was also the year Carl Yastrzemski won the American League batting championship with a .301 average—the only AL hitter to break .300.

Orel Hershiser's 59 Consecutive Scoreless Innings in 1988 and Postseason Wins

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    LOS ANGELES - 1989:  Orel Hershiser #55 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Chicago Cubs in the 1989 season at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mike Powell/Getty Images)
    Mike Powell/Getty Images

    Orel Hershiser, also known as "Bulldog," pitched 59 scoreless innings in 1988, breaking Don Drysdale's mark by one-third of an inning.

    But in a way, his success in the postseason that year overshadowed his scoreless inning streak.

    In the 1988 NLCS against the New York Mets, Hershiser started Games 1 and 3, recorded the final out in Game 4 for a save and then pitched a shutout in Game 7. He was awarded the MVP of the series for that feat.

    Hershiser then went on to pitch a shutout in Game 2 of the World Series and allowed just two runs in Game 5. He was also named the MVP of the World Series that year.

23 Dodgers Who Have Pitched a No-Hitter and Sandy Koufax's Perfect Game

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    Photo Credit: The Associated Press

    23 Dodgers have pitched a no-hitter in team history, including Sandy Koufax's perfect game in 1965.

    The last Dodger to pitch a no-hitter was Hideo Nomo on September 17, 1996 against the Colorado Rockies, which was also the first no hitter thrown at Coors Field.

    Fernando Valenzuela pitched a no-hitter on June 29, 1990 against the St. Louis Cardinals—which was the second of two no-hitters thrown on the same day. The other was tossed by Dave Stewart of the Oakland A's against the Toronto Blue Jays.

    Carl Erskine, Adonis Terry and Sandy Koufax are the only Dodgers to pitch more than one no-hitter. Erskine and Terry had two, and Koufax threw four during his career with the Dodgers.

    The members of the Los Angeles Dodgers who have tossed a no-hitter besides Nomo, Valenzuela and Koufax are Ramón Martínez, Kevin Gross, Jerry Reuss and Bill Singer.

     

    Sandy Koufax's perfect game in 1965


    On September 9, 1965 Sandy Koufax pitched the first and only perfect game in Dodgers history against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium.

    During that game Bob Hendley of the Cubs pitched a one-hitter and allowed only two batters to reach base. Both Koufax and Hendley had no-hitters intact until the seventh inning, and the only run that the Dodgers scored was unearned. The game holds the record for fewest base runners (both teams), with two; the next lowest total is four.

    Koufax's no hitter is also the last no-hitter thrown against the Cubs to date.

Those Are Just Some of the Single-Season Feats Dodgers Players Have Accomplished

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    15 Jul 1998: Pitcher Orel Hershiser #53 of the San Francisco Giants pitches to infielder Eric Karras #23 of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. The Giants defeated the Dodgers 5-3.
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Hitting streaks, scoreless innings streaks, no-hitters and perfect games are just some of the accomplishments Dodgers players have achieved over the years.

    Major League Baseball keeps statistics on almost everything a player can do, so there are many others you can find.

    I have listed just a few, but your favorite feat by a Dodger may not be listed here. What do you think should be on this list? Let me know in the comments below.

    You can follow me on Twitter—I am @garyburzell.