Ethier comes through in a pinch vs. Lester

Ethier comes through in a pinch vs. Lester

CHICAGO -- Andre Ethier's first postseason home run since 2009 put the Dodgers on the board in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Saturday night.

The Dodgers ended up on the losing end of the series opener, 8-4, but the home run off left-hander Jon Lester should give the lefty-swinging Ethier some confidence heading into Game 2, live on FS1 Sunday night at 8 ET/5 PT.

Pinch-hitting in place of starting pitcher Kenta Maeda in the fifth inning, Either hit a Lester fastball in the air toward left field, and the wind carried it to the seats to cut the Dodgers' deficit to 3-1. It was Ethier's first home run in the postseason since Game 5 of the 2009 NLCS against the Phillies. Ethier had played in 20 postseason games, including 10 starts, without a homer.

Ethier got a big hand from the stiff wind blowing out to left at Wrigley Field, as Statcast™ measured the ball's exit velocity at 98 mph with a 43 degree launch angle. This season, batters were 1-for-40 (.025) on batted balls with those traits, and the one hit was a double.

It was also the highest launch angle for a postseason home run in the Statcast™ era. The previous high was 42 degrees on Kris Bryant's game-tying home run for the Cubs in Game 3 of the NL Division Series.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.