Los Angeles Dodgers’ Andre Ethier working on his swing

first_imgThe way Ethier exudes confidence in the clubhouse as well as around the batting cage, one would not know he is not pleased with his results in 2014.“It’s a fine line of not projecting that dissatisfaction personally for a team that’s still playing well and doing well,” he said. “So it’s a fine line of walking and not dragging your head or moping around, but keeping things going and just try to ride the bad one personally and keep pulling for your team and riding this good wave we’re having and this little comeback we’re having right now.”The Dodgers not long ago trailed the Giants by 9 1/2 games in the NL West, but were just two behind before Saturday.Interestingly, manager Don Mattingly a day earlier wondered if perhaps Ethier working on his swing is the reason why his right knee has been sore of late. Ethier wouldn’t quite go there.“I don’t know,” he said. “It could be, could not. It’s one where it’s sore and it has its moments and I think, just in general, 162 games in the season is going to make anything sore. It’s something I’ve dealt with over the last couple of years of my career, but I find a way to manage to just fight through it and keep going and it’s not an excuse I’ll be using.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error When you watch Andre Ethier take batting practice, that beautiful left-handed swing leaves one wondering how he could be batting a career-low .243. But that was Ethier’s average ahead of Saturday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Dodger Stadium.Ethier – a .285 career hitter in his ninth big-league season – is trying to tweak his swing. He spoke candidly about that after batting practice.“Just always working and always trying to improve and get things better,” he said. “It’s a good swing, but sometimes it’s the little things that can lead to not getting the result you want out there.“And everyone’s in agreement for myself to the staff, personally it’s not the result we want or need for this team to continue to be successful. So, always making adjustments.”center_img It didn’t help that Ethier fouled a pitch off the right knee Thursday.“Right when things are feeling good over there, you take a knock like that,” said Ethier, who has three home runs and 27 RBIs. “But it’s one where you just gotta know that you gotta count the days, the blessings you get when you play with no aches and pains. And then when there isn’t, you just keep going and figure out a way to get it done that day.”Ethier said that, overall, he’s fine from a health standpoint.“I’m just as good as I was coming into the season,” he said. “I feel good, I feel healthy, I feel strong. It’s nothing where it’s a worry. My goal is to be out there as many games as I can, playing center field and locking down the defense out there.”And, Ethier said, figuring out a way to become more of a threat offensively.Ethier was originally given Friday night off, but he had to come in late when Scott Van Slyke was ejected from the game. Mattingly wants to give Ethier another rest before the All-Star break, which begins July 14 and runs four days.“We will pay attention just over the next few weeks,” Mattingly said. “I’d like to be able to get to this four-day break with him intact. I’ll still be trying to give him some days as we get closer to it, also.”Mattingly marvelsSouthpaw Clayton Kershaw is 8-2 with an ERA of 2.24. In his past two starts he has thrown a no-hitter with 15 strikeouts and pitched eight scoreless innings with eight strikeouts. All while allowing nary a run.Mattingly is impressed.“He hasn’t given up a run the past two games,” Mattingly said. “We’re just glad he’s on our team, put it that way.”Mattingly is awed not only by Kershaw’s pitching prowess, however.“He’s been the guy you want, in all aspects,” Mattingly said. “You ask about a guy that you want out there; it’s not only on the field, it’s off the field. It’s in between starts. There are probably a few pitchers … that actually can affect your club because of the respect all the players have for him.“The work that he does and how he prepares for each start. When he’s out here on the bench during games cheering for the other guys when he’s not pitching, he’s part of the club at all times. You don’t always get that with your starting pitchers. Sometimes those guys, they do their thing and are a part of it, but not the same way that Clayton is.”Viva MexicoFirst baseman Adrian Gonzalez makes no bones about rooting for Mexico in the World Cup. The U.S. is his secondary team.“I don’t care about anyone else,” said Gonzalez, who spent his younger days in Tijuana before going to high school in Chula Vista.last_img

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