Dodgers links: Slow start, Andre Ethier heating up, Clayton Kershaw's curve

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

A look at some Dodgers-related news for a Monday

Andre Ethier, who had three hits and a walk on Sunday, is hitting .385/.455/.513 with five doubles in his last 13 games. He said he is doing something different at the plate, but wouldn't specifically share what.

“I’d tell you that, but then everybody else would know what I’m doing,” Ethier said, per Pedro Moura of the Orange County Register. “It’s a process of me going through it. It’s one where it takes a little time. We’re still working hard on it, and you pick up little reminders here and there to make sure you’re moving forward and getting back to where I need to be.”

***

As the Dodgers muddle along at 20-19, losers of seven of their last 10 games, Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports takes stock and writes, "Six weeks into another year, starting all over again, they seem to compete only when the mood strikes them, as if the season were owed to them and no one else."

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The under-performing Dodgers, and Brown's column, are the subject of Monday morning's Effectively Wild podcast, with Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller.

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The rarity of Clayton Kershaw allowing a home run on a curveball is explored in detail by both David Schoenfield at ESPN and by Miller at Baseball Prospectus.

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The decreasing velocity and low swinging strike rate of Dan Haren, starting Monday for the Dodgers, is the subject of detailed scrutiny by Daniel Brim at Dodgers Digest.

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Dee Gordon, at 55.6 percent of the time, ranks 10th in MLB in hitting the ball softly the most often, per Mark Simon of ESPN.

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Ten years ago tonight, against Matt Clement of the Cubs, Dodgers second baseman Alex Cora hit a home run to cap an 18-pitch at-bat. Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider caught up with Cora to relive the glorious moment.

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The Dodgers despite their slow start still have an 81.5 percent chance to make the playoffs, per Baseball Prospectus, best in the National League West, including a 45.9 percent chance to win the division.

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