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Don Mattingly Sticks By Andre Ethier Against Lefties

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Andre Ethier hasn't been blistering the ball against lefties this season.
Andre Ethier hasn't been blistering the ball against lefties this season.

After scoring just six runs in their three-game series sweep at the hands of San Francisco, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly summed up the offense like so:

"When your big guys don't hit, that's the way it goes," he said.

Both Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier went 2-for-12 against the Giants, each with a double. Ethier had both of his hits Wednesday, which was remarkable considering that he had a nasty blister that ruptured on his right hand.

"These guys are asking you how you feel body-wise, and I feel great, I feel good except I have a huge hole in my hand that hurts," Ethier told Alex Angert of MLB.com. "The frustrating part is being good physically and have something like this."

Ethier was forced to choke up on the bat on Wednesday, and who knows? Maybe he stumbled upon a catalyst to improve upon his nearly three-month long slump. Ethier is hitting .239/.319/.335 since June 1 with three home runs in his last 63 games.

"He's streaky like everybody else," Mattingly said on Wednesday. "He had some big hits on the trip."

Part of the struggles for Ethier have been against left-handed pitchers, against whom Ethier is hitting .218/.282/.315 this season. But don't expect Mattingly to pinch hit for Ethier in late-game situations any time soon.

"He's one of our guys. It's like pinch hitting for Matt if he struggled against righties. It's the way it is. If we fall with Matt, we fall," Mattingly said. "We'll fall with Andre, unless I have an option that says, 'I've got to do this.' But most of the time I don't have that option."

What about the right-handed Jerry Sands, who is hitting .362 with 13 home runs in 44 games since July 1 in Triple A? It doesn't sound like he would be much of an option either.

"As we get into September we'll have a few extra guys, we'll be able to do some things. Every team is going to have guys who are options," Mattingly said. "If they were tremendous options they wouldn't be in Triple A."

As head coach Norman Dale once said, "My team's on the floor."