Andre Ethier's (LAD) hit streak sits at 30. As David Pinto noted a couple of weeks back, Ethier has been getting hits on balls on the outside of the zone. This has been a change from his hitting pattern over the previous three years:
Prior to this year, Ethier had been generating a good deal of power on pitches down and in. That zone has gone cold for him this season, while he's been able to hit pitches low and away much better.
As you would expect from someone riding a 30-game hit streak, Ethier has a very high BABIP of .444 this season, 131 points higher than his previous three year average. Part of this is due to the increase in line drives he's been hitting during the streak. Compared to his numbers from 2008-2010, Ethier's LD% is up 7% since his hit streak began. Even more important, his line drive BABIP is up 192 points.
Ethier has also been a bit luckier than usual on his groundballs. Throughout his streak, they have resulted in hits about 36% of the time. From 2008-2010, he had a groundball batting average of .255.
Ethier faces the New York Mets tonight at Citi Field as he attempts to tie Willie Davis for the Dodgers all-time hit streak honor. While Ethier's in play average will likely regress at some point this season, the real question is whether it will regress enough over the next 26 or so games to break his hit streak.