Ellis thriving with team-first mentality

Ellis thriving with team-first mentality

ST. LOUIS -- Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis, who hit .191 this season, is leading all batters two games into the National League Division Series with a .625 average and a 1.792 OPS after hitting .323 with a 1.013 OPS in last year's postseason.

So, manager Don Mattingly, how do you explain that?

  Date   Matchup Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 3   STL 10, LAD 9 video
Gm 2 Oct. 4   LAD 3, STL 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 6   STL 3, LAD 1 video
Gm 4 Oct. 7   STL 3, LAD 2 video

"I don't know if I could do that," said Mattingly, who then did a pretty good job explaining it. "I think A.J. is -- he's one of the guys that you can't measure. He's one of the guys that you can put the numbers guys at him and go after him, and you could say he doesn't do this and doesn't do that.

"But there are certain things that you can't really measure as far as, when you start playing as a team and you're playing for your teammates and that means more to you than anything else, I think you get guys that do things that they normally can't do. So it's a different level of focus and concentration, and when you're playing for the whole, your team is better and you really end up being better than you would be if you're just trying to get out there and get your hits. When you play as a group, it's a different power there."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.