Matt Kemp’s plight from patrolling center field for the Los Angeles Dodgers to being benched for five games before making a transition to left field was merely another saga in his career since nearly winning the NL MVP award in 2011.
In terms of being able to play, Kemp’s endured multiple injuries and surgeries, though his play has seen a noticeable drop off. Kemp wasn’t thrilled with being removed from center but he continued to express his desire to contribute to the team in any fashion.
Kemp finished the 10-game homestand a woeful 2-for-33, seemingly unable to catch a break no matter how well he squared up a pitch. The Dodgers then traveled to Colorado where Kemp went 5-for-9 with two triples, three RBIs and three walks.
Following the win on a rainy Sunday afternoon, Kemp discussed his latest surge at the plate, via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
It just feels good to contribute,” he said. “I’m having good at-bats, seeing the ball well. I hope it carries over to Cincinnati. Every series is important at this point, the way the Giants are playing.”
Carl Crawford’s sprained ankle created an immediate opportunity for Kemp in left field and the journey has been a bag of mixed results. At times, Kemp has appeared to lack the burst of speed that arguably cost him the starting job in his natural position and he was mired in an 0-for-12 slump over the first three games he started in left field.
As Kemp mentioned, the San Francisco Giants are playing well, winners in 10 of their last 12 games and keeping track of them in the standings is a sentiment Clayton Kershaw also shared. Kemp is now hitting .253 on the season with five home runs and 18 RBIs.
The Dodgers begin a four-game set with the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark, where Kemp is a career .311 hitter and has a 1.002 OPS. The Reds are .500 at home this season, which should bode well for the Dodgers who have
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