kemp_hr_2014-07-30

Dodgers 3, Braves 2: Welcome Back, Matt Kemp

Here’s a thing I’m not sure I’ve ever seen before: one player taking two bases on an infield grounder more than once in a single game. I don’t know how to look that sort of thing up; I don’t know if it can be looked up, and either way, it’s sort of like an RBI or a triple play, in that it’s not just about the player, it’s about being in fortunate enough circumstances to even do it. (Obviously, the ball has to be placed just so.) But really, the one indisputable fact is that it can’t be done without a hell of a lot of hustle, and that’s exactly what Matt Kemp showed tonight, along with a bit of jump in his legs that we haven’t seen in a while.

In the bottom of the sixth, Kemp advanced from first to third, on a Juan Uribe infield single to second. That was fun,  but he was stranded there by A.J. Ellis, so this, in a 1-1 game in the eighth inning, was better:


GIF Link

(That this was even considered “an infield hit,” and not just “a single to center,” is almost entirely due to the wonderful play of Atlanta shortstop Andrelton Simmons, of course.)

And why was it even 1-1 to make that run so important? Because Kemp had homered earlier in the game, an absolute no-doubter blast off of Alex Wood, his third in two days. His wRC+ is now 134, which is not only better than his career average, it’d be the third-best of his career. It’s one of the 35 best marks in the game. The last week or so is something of an unsustainable hot streak, I’m aware, but it doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying it.

Otherwise, Zack Greinke was so, so good tonight — 13 strikeouts, one walk, and just a single run — that I’m not even going to really dwell on the fact that six of those whiffs came from B.J. Upton (4), who is awful, and Wood (2), who is a pitcher. If not for the walk, which came with two outs in the eighth inning, he would have joined only Clayton Kershaw and Jose Fernandez as pitchers this season to have at least 13 whiffs without a walk. You might remember that Kershaw game. It was fun. Unfortunately, and unfairly, Greinke’s evening is going to be forgotten, not only because of Kemp, but because…

… Kenley Jansen, in relief in the ninth, hung a pitch that Justin Upton nearly hit into the sun. Yes, even though it was night time. That’s how far he hit it. I mean, there’s no-doubters, and then there was that. I wasn’t even mad, I was impressed. Except, for the part where I was also mad. Though it seems like we have to defend Jansen a lot, it was his first earned run in more than six weeks, so I’m not going to bother. He’s still really good. He threw a lousy pitch, which is funny only because Brim wrote earlier today on exactly that. It should be noted, I think, that Jansen then retired the next three Braves in order.

So!

On to extra innings

J.P. Howelll, good on you, for getting through the tenth and making Jordan Schafer look foolish by picking him off second, despite the fact that you walked two. Justin Turner, good on you for leading off the bottom of the tenth with a pinch-hit single and then getting to second base on a wild pitch, continuing your unexpected season of being pretty damn useful. Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez, good on you most of all, for continuing to forget that Craig Kimbrel even exists, because when not-Kimbrel David Hale had to face Kemp again, it ended with Kemp’s third hit of the day, a single to left that scored Turner.

Was it fun?


GIF Link

It sure looked fun. I don’t know how long this is going to last. Maybe it’s a fluke. I don’t care. I missed this Matt Kemp. I missed it a lot.


Mike

About

Mike writes about lots of baseball in lots of places, and right now that place is MLB.com.


347 comments
GinFizzBear
GinFizzBear

@DBrim Dude in the Oakland bleachers blowing on the vuvuzela and wearing the Cespedes jersey, he goin be mad

GinFizzBear
GinFizzBear

@Hoze @DBrim heavy sigh.  If LA is fortunate enough to play the A's in the World Series, it's going to be even tougher.

DBrim
DBrim moderator

So Dodgers, A's, Mariners. Giants?

Hoze
Hoze

@DBrim I feel like it comes down to As and Dodgers..

Jeremy_N
Jeremy_N

apparently lester has been traded

Vin_Skully
Vin_Skully

Mark Saxon thinks the Dodgers should trade Joc for Lester... Well, agree or diagree, I don't think that is on the table Mark. 

I also don't think you have any idea what is being discussed, so saying "WHY DONT THEY MAKE A DEAL??" when you have no idea what is being asked/offered is dumb. Now, kindly stfu.

insideThePark
insideThePark

in less than 5 hours, hope nothing exciting happens.

Vin_Skully
Vin_Skully

Seeing Kemp jump around in a crowd rough-housing, just makes me cringe and watch his ankles... I have sports ptsd

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Haaa, of course Kenley did that the day after I wrote about the slider.

Ryu's Hadouken
Ryu's Hadouken

Out of curiosity I researched our understanding of "time" a little bit further and came across this,


http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/experts-time-division-days-hours-minutes/


. .. I still don't understand how to derive Solar time (in reference to a set location on the planet), or even the basic the concept of leap years and shit like that . . . But, it's interesting to know about the explanations behind the base12 and base60 systems we use to measure a day and the time (in respect to each unit). 


insideThePark
insideThePark

no pizza if you no-hit the Padres... it has to be against a tougher team. that's what it says in the fine pring

insideThePark
insideThePark

so like, WOW, Justin Upton...

he's like Pedro Martinez to BJ's Ramon Martinez

or maybe he's Adam LaRoche or BJ's Andy.

Or the Horace Grant to BJ's Harvey.

insideThePark
insideThePark

it made me wince a little writing that. very promising as a Dodger... that one year when Ramon was an 18-gm winner, but he got hurt and never was the same. But all that said, clearly, Pedro was the much superior Martinez....

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

@InsideThePark (Academy Rd) Yeah, I had a soft spot for Ramon --  he was just so gawky. And he pitched that no-hitter, which was fun.

Oh, cool! I just looked him up and he's now a senior adviser in Latin America for the Dodgers.

insideThePark
insideThePark

With all due respect to Zack Greinke, I'm replaying the bottom of the 2nd inning and skipping to the bottom of the 8th inning until the end.

(went to the O.C. Fair / concert today and missed the game.)

good day is good

insideThePark
insideThePark

you know, if one of my fav. Dodgers from the aughts and teens, Andre Ethier, brought in an insurance run, Kenley giving up that run would have been no biggie.

Then again, no Matt Kemp heroics.

Then again, J.P. Howell would definitely be plenty available tomorrow.

Then again, with Kershaw going tomorrow, we might not need much bullpen.

anyway, THANKS DRE.

steelmohawk
steelmohawk

I read "so, so good" as very good not eh-good.  Am I doing it right Mike?

Casey Goldman
Casey Goldman

Good win tonight boys!  With Kershaw going tomorrow we are going to keep on rolling.  Maybe Mattingly will figure out that when I play, we win.