ST. LOUIS — A day ago, Andre Ethier didn't seem 100 percent certain that the National League Championship Series was the best place to test his sore lower left leg, which has been bothering him since Sept. 13. But after his toughest workout since getting hurt, Ethier said he's good enough to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night.
Manager Don Mattingly made the announcement about 3 1/2 hours before the first pitch was scheduled.
"He basically had to tell us that he felt like he was going to go out there and make all the plays," Mattingly said. "It needed to be him saying, 'I feel like can make the plays.' He had to have confidence, not only for me but for all of the guys in the room. We're confident that he's able to play center field like he can."
Skip Schumaker had been starting in center, and the Dodgers also had played Matt Kemp out there until he was shut down for the season with an injury. Having Ethier makes a tough lineup that much tougher for right-hander Joe Kelly — the Cards starter in Game 1 — and the other pitchers. Ethier hit .272/.360/.423 in the regular season with 12 home runs in 553 plate appearances.
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