08/23/12 3:43 AM ET
Battling blister, Ethier sets Dodgers doubles mark
By Alex Angert / MLB.com
The "nickel-sized" callous, as he described it, on the left side of his right palm underneath his thumb was bandaged up following Wednesday's 8-4 loss.
Ethier said he developed a blister on the edge of a callous that busted open Sunday in Atlanta. With a pad taped to his hand to provide cushioning, Ethier adjusted his swing for the first time since then for Wednesday's game. He was 0-for-11 dating back to Sunday before finishing 2-for-4 with a pair of runs in the loss Wednesday.
Manager Don Mattingly described the blister as "a monster" and said he expects it to linger for quite some time. Ethier said it has affected him, but he is battling through it.
"Sometimes you don't want to swing because you know what's coming, but it's just a thing where the adrenaline gets going," said an upbeat Ethier, who added with a laugh that it makes the game a little more interesting. "It doesn't feel good in batting practice."
With the pain coming from where he holds the bat, Ethier choked up a little bit more than normal Wednesday as he tried to avoid the spot where it rubs particularly badly.
After the game, Ethier had the skin around the callous cut, and he's hopeful he will feel fine after Thursday's off-day. Compared to other injuries, this one has its positives and negatives.
"It's not one of those aches and pains like a knee or a hamstring," he first said. "It's in your hand where you can figure out a way to keep battling."
"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," he later added. "The frustrating part is being good physically and have something like this."
It's been an up-and-down season for Ethier. He batted .366 in May, followed by .218 in June. He missed time with a strained left oblique in July, but still hit safely in 15 out of 18 games that month. In August, he's hit just .213.
It could be bad news if the pain lingers, although he expects the pain Wednesday was as bad as it will get, and that was his best game at the plate in about a week.
Veteran infielder Adam Kennedy, whose locker is two down from Ethier's, said he had a similar problem last season that he described as "knee-buckling pain" that lasted for 2 1/2 months.
He said of all the injuries he has had to deal with in his long career, the blister was by far the hardest to play with.
Mattingly, who wasn't too pessimistic about how it will affect Ethier in the long term, still said he thinks it won't go away anytime soon.
"I think this is going to be something that is going to nag a little bit," Mattingly said. "It's going to limit the amount of work that he's going to be able to do."
If there is any silver lining to Ethier's day, with the blister on top of the loss to the Giants, it is Ethier solidifying his spot in Dodgers history with his sixth-inning double.
He was previously tied with Jackie Robinson with five straight 30-double seasons, but he now stands alone with six. Steve Garvey, Robinson, Dixie Walker and Zack Wheat also posted six seasons with 30 two-baggers, but none of them did it consecutively.
"It's pretty unbelievable to think about it," he said. "To think an organization around this long, you walk through the elevators and you see all the names, it's pretty neat."
Alex Angert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.