A bright spot in the mediocrity at Chavez Ravine is beginning to gain some national attention as Andre Either is currently keeping the lowly Los Angeles Dodgers alive in the National League West. Ethier is currently leading the National League in all major offensive categories, and could potentially win the triple crown.
Normally, Ethier is known for his late game heroics. Since 2008 the Dodger right-fielder has the most walk-off hits with 11. Monday night he didn’t wait that long. Against the Diamondbacks Ethier went 3-5 with two doubles, and two RBI’s. His two-run double in the fifth inning gave the Dodgers and Chad Billingsly a comfortable 4-1 lead.
“He’s just all about confidence right now,” said Dodger manager Joe Torre.
“I’m going up there trying to get a good pitch to hit, putting a good swing on it,” said Either. “I think I’ve become a little bit smarter with my approach and my swing. I know my swing a lot better and what has led to my success in my career, and I try not to shy away from that.”
Either has tallied 10 home runs, 34 RBI’s, and a .393 average in 30 games. All numbers lead the National League. It has been 43 years since Carl Yastrzemski won the triple crown for the Boston Red Sox in 1967. The last time a National League player won a triple crown: Ducky Medwick for the Cardinals in 1937.
Either’s chances to win the triple crown could be increased now that Manny Ramirez has returned from the 15-day disabled list. Ethier explains that a lot of his success is due to hitting in front of one of the most intimidating hitters in the league.
“You get a lot of pitches to hit when he’s hitting behind you,” said Ethier, who has learned patience from the veteran Ramirez. “I’ve become a little bit more smarter with my [batting] approach and my swing, and I know my swing a lot better.”
Any player that could achieve the triple crown this year in the National League, would surely be the favorite to win the MVP award. Online Sportsbooks set the Dodger’s odds of winning the National League at +1400, and winning the World Series at +3000. It will take much more production from Ethier and additions to a weak pitching staff if the Dodgers have any hopes of making the post-season.