(Photo by-Alex Gallardo/AP)
The past two seasons have been very unstable for Los Angeles Dodgers superstar outfielder Matt Kemp. Kemp battled several injuries including shoulder, hamstring, and an ankle that resulted in surgeries.
After battling through rehab assignments, simulation activities, there was a point for many fans if we’ll see the Matt Kemp of 2011 again. After overcoming an off season of many trade rumors seeing Kemp out of Los Angeles, the Dodgers made it clear that they have confidence that Kemp could still perform at a high level when healthy.
Kemp skipped the trip to Australia, stayed stateside in Arizona at Camelback Ranch to continue to rehab and work on his game. The ever ready star made it clear he was an everyday outfielder, despite the plans that manager Don Mattingly may have had dealing with a four man outfield.
Kemp reminded everyone that BeastMode is alive and well on Sunday in the 6-2 victory over the rival San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium.
“That’s when I know I’m seeing the ball good, when I drive the ball to right field like that,” Kemp told ESPNLosAngeles.com. “That’s my swing right there.”
In the second inning Kemp connected on home run over the wall in left field. Later in the fourth inning, Kemp crushed a fastball off of Matt Cain, for a tow run homer over the right field wall.
Kemp was back, and he let everyone know it in a big way.
He struck the ball with confidence in batting practice during spring and before games in the regular season.
“We’ve got a long road ahead of us,” Kemp said. “But I hope the beast is back.“
Kemp showed no effects from his off season surgery, and before Sunday’s game, hadn’t homered at Dodger Stadium since September 2012.
Kemp had surgery on his left shoulder last season from running into a wall at Coors Field in Colorado, chasing down a ball. He returned for the 2013 season, only playing in 73 games due to hamstring and ankle issues.
Now Kemp is focused on the 2014 season, and plans to go healthy all season, helping the Dodgers win a World Series Titles, and as many games along the way.
“I just feel great,” Kemp said. “Let’s just talk about this win and go on to the next thing.”
If Kemp can bring this offensive stability every game, along with Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig swinging the bat every night, the Dodgers could have one of the most powerful line ups in baseball.
Zack Greinke picked up the victory over the Giants also shared his thoughts on the importance of Kemp in the line up. “I’ve never seen Matt being the player he is,” Greinke said. “And Hanley is on a different level. If he’s like he was today, you don’t want to face this lineup if that’s the case.”
Once Clayton Kershaw and Brian Wilson return healthy that will also bring some strong depth into the bullpen for the Dodgers.
Kemp is truly an everyday outfielder, it would be incredibly incumbent of Mattingly to see to it that Kemp gets as much playing time as possible. It’s great seeing Kemp back in the line up, his presence was truly missed the past two seasons.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have finally clinched the National League West title in true Southern California fashion, by celebrating in the Chase Field pool after a champagne shower.
From worst to first in the last three months has been a remarkable story for the Dodgers this season.
Thanks to the powerful play of Hanley Ramirez and the relentless pursuit of accomplishing the NL West by the Dodgers, they defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6.
Ramirez had been battling a sore back opened up the third inning with a huge three run home run deep to left for the 3-0 lead.
Arizona exploded in the third inning, when MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt connected on a ground ruled double that scored Adam Eaton.
Later on in the third, Wade Miley connected on an RBI double, and Didi Gregorius and Gerrado Parra scored and increased the 6-3 Diamondback lead.
The Dodgers regrouped when Michael Young connected on a sacrifice fly that scored Scott Van Slyke and trailed 6-5 in the sixth inning. Ramirez tied the game with a solo home run in the inning.
AJ Ellis contributed in a big way on a home run for the 7-6 lead off of pitcher Josh Collmenter in the eight inning.
J.P. Howell picked up two outs for the victory, and Kenley Jansen pitched an outstanding ninth inning for his 26th save.
“I want to keep going,” Ramirez said. “I think that we’ve got a couple of more steps to do. We’ve got to keep working and stay together all the way through to the end.”
The Dodgers before June 22nd were in last place in the division by 9 1/2 games by the then first place Diamondbacks. The Dodgers went an outstanding 42-8 run, and elevated their way to the top of the NL West by 10 1/2 games. The Dodgers only motivation now, is to catch the NL East leading Atlanta Braves for the National League’s best record.
“We’re a veteran ball club” Adrian Gonzalez said. “We understand it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”
“I really try to keep it kind of even. But this is a great accomplishment for these guys. We put a great team together and a big payroll with huge expectations. A lot of time that falls apart and it had a chance to fall apart during the season, I thought,” said Don Mattingly. “But the coaching staff stuck together. These guys were loyal to me. There was no backbiting or somebody trying to leap over me. They stuck together…..the players came together, we got healthy, and then we just rolled.”
This was the first time the Dodgers returned to New York since 1981, when the two teams met in the World Series. A series where the Dodgers captured the World Series title.
Dodgers starter Chris Capuano (2-4) pitched an outstanding game for six innings. Capuano returned from the disabled list, gave up three hits and captured four strike outs in the shutout.
Adrian Gonzalez got the team started in the right direction when he knocked an RBI single out to right, for the 1-0 lead that scored Skip Schumaker.
Hanley Ramirez began his six hit day with a single in the first inning that scored Yasiel Puig for the 2-0 lead.
Yankees starter Phil Hughes (3-6) gave up five hits and a disappointing season high 10 hits against the Dodgers in the six inning of work.
The Dodgers maintained a 3-0 lead behind an Andre Ethier doubled in the third inning that scored Gonzalez.
The Yankees attempted a rally in the fourth as Robinson Cano was thrown out on sharp play by Ethier.
In the seventh, Puig finished his day with a solo home run deep to right field for the dominating 6-0 lead. Puig knocked out his fifth home run of the season. Also stole a base, bunted a hit, and was even hit by a pitch on the day.
Puig is definitely making a strong case for his demand of being an All-Star this season, and it’s hard to argue against his demand.
Dodger manager Don Mattingly received a huge crowd chant from the Yankee faithful, spoke highly of his hitting trio of Gonzalez, Puig, and Ramirez.
“Hanley, for me, I’ve said it since he came over. I think he’s one of the best hitters in the game. The way Yasiel’s swinging the bat, and if Adrian continues to swing the bat the way he’s capable of, that’s a pretty potent trio of guys.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi discussed the disappointing outing by his starter Phil Hughes. “You can mix some good pitches and try to do some of that, too, but it comes down to not making mistakes and he made some mistakes tonight.”
After a solid start by Ryu, Carlos Gonzales interrupted his flow, and connected on a home run for the early 1-0 Rockies lead.
Ryu remained focused and would not be shaken further as he sent 14 batters back to the dugout. He was simply untouchable, and his 12 strike outs were the most for a Dodger rookie pitcher since Hideo Nomo back in August of 1995.
The Dodger bats were aggressive and hot as Matt Kemp singled to center that allowed Jerry Hairston Jr. to tie the game in the first inning. Adrian Gonzales hit a sac fly that scored Nick Punto that gave the Dodgers the 2-1 lead.
Harriston continued his hitting ways, hitting an RBI single to left that scored Juan Uribe, who used his burst of speed from second base for the 3-1 lead. Punto also hit an RBI single that increased the Dodger lead 4-1.
After going 0-1 in his first at bat, Ramirez made up for his short coming, hitting a solo home run to center and increased the Dodger lead 5-1 on his bobble head night at Dodger Stadium.
Ryu made a costly mental mistake that could’ve began a Rockies comeback in the sixth inning, when Michael Cuddyer doubled to right and scored Dexter Fowler. The Rockies still trailed 6-2.
Dodger reliever Kenley Jansen pitched two phenomenal innings and only allowed one hit to end the game.
Rockies starter Jorge De La Rose (2-3) was horrible only lasted four innings. He gave up eleven hits, six runs with one strike out.
Ryu (3-1) picked up the well earned victory in six solid innings of work.
Rockies manager Walt Weiss spoke the effectiveness of Ryu against his team. “He was really good. He had his A-game, and it was going to be tough to put together a big inning or put together something big against him. He was in control.”
*Carl Crawford was absent from Tuesday’s line up due to tightness in his hamstring.
Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez fresh off of his rehab assignment is back with the team three weeks ahead of schedule, and for the depleted team not a moment too soon.
The Los Angeles Dodgers received bad news that Hanley Ramirez will require thumb surgery, and will be sidelined approximately two months. Ramirez suffered the injury during the World Baseball Classic (WBC) championship representing the Dominican Republic in the third inning while chasing down as ground ball.
The Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez get an MRI on his thumb, due to injury suffered in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) championship game on Tuesday.