Monday, May 14, 2012
Matt Kemp’s Consecutive Game Streak Ends, but That’s a Good Thing
Now that a consecutive game streak of 399 games for Matt Kemp has ended, he can get on to the business at hand...healing.
Hamstrings are funny in that way. They scream for rest to heal properly. Playing gingerly on them seldom results in good things, and we've all seen that a Matt Kemp playing at half speed is not gonna happen. Instincts kick in and he eventually pushes the envelope.
That’s what developed on Sunday on that ground ball to Tulowitski. For a split second, Matt kicked his effort up a notch to beat that ground ball out. His competitive juices got the best of him and he picked up the speed. Tried to do a little too much and “pow” the hammy bit him.
Now that Matt’s consecutive game streak falls short about 18 years of Cal Ripken he can get over the “heartbreak” and heal up. This marathon of a season is only about 22% over and Kemp is going to be needed for a kick in the final stages.
The amazing thing about this club is that they continue winning, even without their major offensive force in the lineup. Will it keep up? I certainly hope so. Steady starting pitching, a respectable defense that is making plays and the occasional clutch hit, combined with an uncanny ability to win at home has resulted in the best record in Major League Baseball. It also helps that a player like Andre Ethier is hitting ..462 on the homestand and A.J. Ellis, now batting 5th has an OBP also at .462 on the season.
Who would have thought that the defending division champs (Arizona) would be 9.5 games out on May 14th?
So at the very least, this ball club has bought some time to allow Kemp to get well. They have sprinted out to a substantial lead, giving them the luxury of sitting their best player so he can heal up properly. It took a week, but they have decided to take the prudent path and sit him.
Standings after tonight:
Los Angeles 24-11
San Francisco 18-17 6.0
Arizona 15-21 9.5
Colorado 13-21 10.5
San Diego 12-24 12.5
Post game show announcement on Kemp
Don Mattingly announced tonight following the 3-1 win over the DBacks that Matt Kemp is going on the 15 day disabled list. Jerry Sands gets the call up and maybe just in time since he had a 2 home run game with Albuquerque yesterday. The games to be missed by Kemp will be:
Arizona (home) 2 (one being the win tonight)
at San Diego 2
St. Louis (home) 3
at Arizona 3
Houston (home) 3
Milwaukee (home) 2
Kemp will return on May 28th for the final two games against the Brewers at home. So they have fourteen more games with a 6 game cushion. They should be able to maintain the lead and hold their own against the competition over the next 14 days. I wouldn’t put it past them to build upon the lead even more. The magic of 2012 just continues on and on.