It’s been so long since we’ve been able to talk about what a great game Matt Kemp had that I’m using this happy picture from earlier this season that quite obviously was not taken today, since he’s wearing the home whites. In his return from the disabled list, Kemp had three hits, including a double and a homer, and drove in three in a 9-2 romp of Washington that briefly tied the Dodgers for first place with Arizona pending the outcome of the Arizona/San Francisco game that is currently a 1-0 D-Backs lead in the fourth.
In a season that’s been little but disappointment for the Dodger superstar, today was nothing but smiles… until an ill-fated slide home in the ninth inning turned into a twisted ankle that required Kemp be replaced in center by Skip Schumaker for the final frame. After the game, Don Mattingly said the “ankle has a little swelling. It looks like a sprain. I don’t anticipate DL. He got treatment right away.” The Dodgers added that Kemp won’t need X-rays, and that’s nice, but this certainly doesn’t look minor to me (GIF via — deep breath now — a Vine by Danny via Chad Moriyama, because I can’t get Vine to embed properly for some reason.)
I’m no doctor, but that looks awful. Why can’t we have nice things? You know, except for all of the nice things we have like Clayton Kershaw continuing to dominate (nine strikeouts and zero walks in seven innings) and Hanley Ramirez hitting like no one should be able to (two more hits, including his tenth homer) and an offense that pounded out 15 hits, including three apiece from Carl Crawford and Mark Ellis, in knocking out Jordan Zimmermann after just two awful innings.
We shouldn’t short-change the good news here, which is that this team just waltzed into Washington to sweep the Nationals and claim a share of first place, with some chance of being alone in first by the end of the night. But once again, here we are worrying about the health of Matt Kemp. Between him, the fragile health of Crawford, and the slump of Yasiel Puig, there’s just no such thing as too many outfielders. (And no, I don’t want to hear that Kemp should have been out of the game. The man’s missed most of the last two months, the last thing he needs is less playing time — and this is the definition of a freak injury.)
But still: first place! Onward to Toronto…