LOS ANGELES -- While James Loney has relapsed into first-half mode from last year with an 0-for-16 start, Andre Ethier is so on fire he's even hitting left-handed pitching.
Ethier is 3-for-9 with a double, triple and five RBIs against left-handers. Coming into Spring Training, manager Don Mattingly was talking about sitting Ethier against left-handed pitching if he didn't show improvement from the previous two seasons, although Mattingly always tempered that by insisting there was no reason why Ethier shouldn't hit lefties.
"He's battling now and that's what I like," Mattingly said. "He said he finally got one [Wednesday, a tie-breaking RBI single off lefty Erik Bedard]. I said, 'You're going to get your share.' His swing is too good not to get them. He'll make some outs, but he'll get his share of hits."
Mattingly said the only thing keeping Ethier from being great is Ethier and his tendency to lose focus and give away at-bats.
"If he doesn't get frustrated, he's going to be great," he said. "Nothing can hold him back if he's healthy. He knows his swing and understands hitting. He can fix himself. He doesn't need a coach."