Andre Ethier became known as Captain Clutch in 2009 after a season in which he had six walk-off hits, including four walk-off home runs.
On Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium, Ethier once again lived up to that nickname, providing the Dodgers with two home runs that were crucial; however, one ended the game. In the bottom of the eighth, Ethier hit a solo home run that gave the team a 3-2 lead, but the bullpen allowed a run in the ninth and the game went into extra innings. Then in the bottom of the 10th with Adrian Gonzalez on first, the long-time Dodger outfielder hit a two-run, walk-off home run.
It was Ethier’s sixth career walk-off home run and first since 2010. The home run concluded a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and gave the Dodgers a four-game winning streak.
After the game, Ethier talked about the chance of winning the game and how he approaches it. “You realize that one swing of the bat can close the game. Not too many times in baseball do you get to take the last shot. That was one of those opportunities right there,” the 33-year-old said.
While he’s succeeded in those opportunities before, the outfielder noted that it’s not always the heroics that come with it. “It’s fun when you do well. It’s not fun when you don’t do well. I’ll be the first to admit that,” Ethier said.
Rounding the bases to end the game, the former All-Star seemed a bit more excited than times past and was asked about it. “Just happy and excited in the moment. We’re playing big games right here in the beginning of August and trying to win,” Ethier said. The win put the Dodgers at 15 games over .500 for the first time this season.
Ethier added one more note to the big win. “To be able to win the game in that fashion is a fun thing to do.”