A night after the Dodgers squandered several chances to cut their magic number in half, Don Mattingly was able to insert Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez back into the lineup last night.
Kemp struck out to end the game on Monday and was making his first start last night since late July, while Ramirez had to leave last Thursday night’s game against the Giants. However, the story last night was Kemp, who went 4-4 with 3 RBIs and showed no ill effects of the hamstring and ankle injuries that plagued him.
Talking to Eric Stephen of TrueBlueLA.com, Kemp talked about how exciting last night was to him:
I miss baseball, man. I haven’t played in a while so it felt good to be in front of the crowd, Kemp said after the game. It’s a good feeling.
Kemp got things started early as he smacked a two-run double with two outs in the first inning and then proceeded to hit another double to deep center, before hitting an RBI single and finishing his night with a single in the seventh inning.
It’s been an interesting season to say the least for Kemp as it looked like he was over his injuries from earlier in the year as he hit three home runs in his prior four starts.
His teammate, Zack Greinke was the beneficiary of Kemp’s production and told Stephen how impressed he is with Kemp:
I’ve never seen him swing the bat like he is right now. I haven’t played with him a lot here, and only faced him a couple of times. People talk about how good of a hitter he is but he didn’t have much of an opportunity because of injuries. It’s pretty exciting.
If the Dodgers get the Kemp back that should’ve won the 2011 MVP, the offense should pick up as Mattingly will have to pencil him in every night on the lineup card.
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