Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Kemp stars – then stumbles – as Dodgers win again

So instead of talking about the spectacular return of Matt Kemp from the disabled list, with a homer and double in the second inning alone and four times on base in the Dodgers’ 9-2 victory over Washington – a game that puts Los Angeles in a tie for first place in the National League West, pending the result of Arizona’s game at San Francisco today – we’re going to be talking about another injury.

Long after Hanley Ramirez blew the game open with a three-run homer in the Dodgers’ seven-run second inning, after Clayton Kershaw had completed a seven-inning outing with nine strikeouts and only two hits allowed (both home runs by Jayson Werth), the Dodgers loaded the bases with two out in the top of the ninth. Carl Crawford beat out a grounder to the right side, and then mayhem struck.

Kemp, who had been on third base, was slowly jogging home on Crawford’s grounder when he realized that a throw would be coming home. He then suddenly accelerated and stepped awkwardly into the plate, appearing to hurt his ankle in the process.

As quick as that, happy days turned into the blame game. Why was Kemp still in the game? Why was he running so slow on the play? Why did he suddenly try to score and risk injury?

Why was Kemp still in the game? Because as much as you don’t want him to overdo it on his first game back, Kemp didn’t need any rest, and the chances of him hurting himself were remote.

Why was he running so slow on the play? For the same reason people asked why he was still in the game – he didn’t want to overdo it. Except he underdid it.

Why did he suddenly rush into home at the end? Because he realized he had been going too slow, and his baseball instincts kicked in.

It was an extremely unfortunate play, particularly if it sends Kemp, who has homered in three of the last four games he has been able to play in, back to the disabled list for the third time this season.

I don’t think it’s reasonable to blame Don Mattingly for leaving Kemp in the game. And frankly, as much as Kemp might be at fault for running too slow at the start and too recklessly at the finish, for misreading the situation, what good does it do to be critical? We should be far past the point of questioning Kemp’s effort in a baseball game, and no one is going to feel worse about the outcome than he will.


It’s another new day for Matt Kemp


July 22 game chat


  1. KT

    We are going streaking 3-0 after ASB

  2. KT

    he really rolled it…I hope his ligaments are elastic:

  3. Anonymous

    Good stuff Weisman. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious. I was so happy he was having a great game.

  4. Anonymous

    It’s interesting that you have this reaction after this game John. I feel very good about this team right now, Kemp or no Kemp. There’s no blame game coming from me. Maybe it’s because at this point i consider Kemp an injury prone player, so when an injury prone player AGAIN gets injured, can you really be surprised or angry. I also have pretty much written him off for this season as an impact player for this team because his shoulder is obviously not right. None of this is his fault of course, but it is what it is. He’s not the first talented player who’s body betrayed him and he’s not gonna be the last.

    • I guess setting a low bar for him will allow him to pleasantly surprise you this year. I believe he has quite a bit of impact to offer this team in the last few months.

      • Anonymous

        “quite a bit of impact” for a healthy Kemp is an understatement. However, imo, he’s not that guy any more. People still see 2011 Matt Kemp as something that can happen again, i don’t. I’ve adjusted my expectations for him.

        • What I’m saying is I see him getting big hits and making great catches that help the Dodgers win games down the stretch, I don’t expect 2011 Kemp this year. We’ll see.

  5. He was also still in the game because he was a triple away from the cycle. Unfortunate that he had a freak accident, nobody to blame though.

    • Anonymous

      not at that point; I agree with Jon but others did wonder why Kemp was still in the game after he hit in the top of the 9th.

  6. KT

    Eric Stephen ‏@truebluela 6m

    In Clayton Kershaw’s career, Dodgers are 8-1 in games he starts with a chance to finish off a series sweep

  7. Anonymous

    Have not seen the play Kemp got hurt on – had already put the game in the win column and moved on to other things – what a bummer – sounds like he lost his concentration / intensity because of the cakewalk game Dodgers were having – a recipe for another injury – Kemp using up all his bad luck in one season?

  8. Anonymous

    Ha! finally got that avatar thingy figured out!

    • KT

      good job…so much better

    • Anonymous

      ‘spain it to me, please; at your convenience.

      • KT

        click on the “man” next to your name. a new window will open click on the edit profile link on the right side. click on the avatar section on the left. browse your computer or internet for a photo. scroll to bottom and save changes

  9. Anonymous

    Just changed mine to Blue Demon!

  10. Anonymous

    KT would love it, if Jon agrees and you are ok with it, if you put up your screen shots, etc here without even using links as you did below with the “hot dog” one.
    Also, I am using Firefox with Adblock add-on. Everything goes haywire if I click on a link that uses vine. Can you avoid vine, KT? If you can, I would appreciate it if you would.

    • Just FYI, I use FF and Adblock and I had no trouble with that Vine pic below. Might be something else interceding.

      • Anonymous

        don’t understand, I was sure it was from the Adblock

    • KT

      I only know imgur, vine and tinyurl

  11. Kemp isn’t too concerned about his ankle.

    “It’s just a little swollen,” Kemp said. “It’s not that bad. I started
    walking around a little bit, it started to feel a little bit better.
    Tomorrow we’ll see what it feels like.”

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, seeing him on the field walking off it didn’t seem to be major.

  12. KT

    Dbags win

  13. KT

    23-24 on the road…time to fix that losing record tomorrow in Toronto

    4.5 behind the reds for the second wild card spot and 2 games ahead of the Phillies…not really worried about those in our rear view mirror

  14. KT

    Dodgers relievers have combined to post a 0.47 ERA over their last 14 games. They’ve limited opposing hitters to a .160 average with 41 strikeouts in that span.

    • Anonymous

      That, Uribe, and this entire team’s turnaround are proof positive to never give up on anyone . . . even League? (Of course, I don’t think he pitched in those 14 games until today.)

      • KT

        Yea they gave League a turn and he performed adequently to deserve another shot with similliar circumstances

      • Anonymous

        If we are talking about the pen, I am actually very glad they finally decided to give up on League (as closer) and Guerrier. Beli is the only one they really stuck with who appears to have come out of it.

  15. Today was the 11th anniversary of Dodger Thoughts. Didn’t feel it was worth making anything of, due to the diminished content of the past year, but to those who have continued to come by, thanks.

    • I remember the blogspot days.

    • Anonymous

      Jon, Congrats on a great run ! I’ve been an on-again, off-again poster here for years now and I have to say, I really enjoy the content and the contributors here at DT over the other Dodgers blogs I’ve visited. While other blogs have more frequent comments continually popping up (MSTI) – here it is a case of less is more – quality over sheer volume of blathering posters. Love KT’s endless optimism, and mike, Bob’s, and all the others here on this page’s knowledge of the game.

      On a side note, I’m taking off 1st thing in the morning to camp out with the family at El Capitan for the following week – be back Sunday – I’m sure by then our Boys will be in 1st place, stretching out their lead…. Have a good week, all.
      Go Blue !

    • Anonymous

      Eleven is my favorite number. And this is my favorite site! I post more these days, but I have been a huge fan and lurker for many years. I am thrilled you decided to keep going, Jon.

      • Anonymous

        Amen to Jon’s DT resuscitation . . . and to the one the 2013 Dodgers are having!

        I said before 13 is my favorite # . . . maybe this season will be, as well (tho ’88 and ’81 were AWESOME!!!).

    • KT

      Didn’t realize it was a big anniversary. Would have love to help celebrate the event

    • Anonymous

      All the best, Jon. I found that I can live without TIVO, DT not so much. How about reposting your first post.

    • Anonymous

      Not sure how many of those 11 years I have been here but all have been enjoyable. I miss some of the commenters of the past that have been missing for awhile. I enjoy this site.

    • Anonymous

      The only piece I disagree with is “diminished content”. Quality, not volume, is why I check in every day, multiple times a day. Thank you for being here.

    • Anonymous

      Dodger Thoughts goes to 11!

    • Anonymous

      Despite the “diminished content” I still check back often to see if you’ve posted your perspective on the happenings of our boys in blue. This is, no doubt in my mind, the most level headed and informative blog on the Dodgers out there, and that includes the posts from all your regular commenters too… Thanks for all your hard work!

    • Anonymous

      I think the content is great, it keeps me informed from so far away

  16. Anonymous

    Toronto’s starters don’t appear to be as formidable as we are used to seeing.

    • KT

      Smell that in the air? it’s the sweet aroma of the coming sweep ^_^

  17. KT

    Craig Gary Phillips ‏@craigary3m
    Oh no :( Sadness. RT @BreakingNews Actor Dennis Farina, police officer turned star of ‘Law & Order,’ dies at 69, publicist says – @AP

  18. KT

    Kemp won’t be starting today

  19. KT

    Eric Stephen ‏@truebluela5m
    . @THEREAL_DV also says Yasiel Puig will start in CF tonight for Dodgers

  20. KT

    Dodgers lineup:
    Crawford LF
    Puig CF
    Gonzalez 1B
    Ramirez SS
    Ethier DH
    Ellis C
    Schumaker RF
    Uribe 3B
    Ellis 2B
    Ryu P

  21. KT

    My question is why is shoe out in the field over Dre

    • Anonymous

      To give him a quasi day off, perhaps. He just went 3 in hot and humid DC and the next four games at least will be against righties.

      • KT

        I guess but the ASB just passed

        • Anonymous

          Look, I just sat in the stands the past three days and I am pretty tuckered out! (Plus, heaven forbid, we may need him patrolling CF a bit more than we had planned)

  22. This just in… Eugenio Velez has been released by the Blue Jays along with Claudio Vargas.

    • Anonymous

      EV has played CF 19 times in his career.

  23. KT

    Matt Kemp expecting to miss the whole series according to Dylan Hernandez…Why not just put him back on the DL

    • Anonymous

      Cuz then he would miss four series?

      • KT

        so it will be another 10 day wait like MEllis then onto the DL…all the while we play a man down

        • Anonymous

          Can’t they do it retro if he doesn’t respond over the next three days. During that time DM won’t be able to do double switches anyway, so less need for warm bodies.

          • KT

            yea but they tend to be terrible about pulling the trigger this year..good point about the double switches though

  24. Ryan Braun has admitted and apologized for PED use – suspended effective immediately.

  25. KT

    Jared Massey ‏@Dodger_Diamond1m
    I see news breaking and I still have no clue what’s going on.

  26. KT

    @billplunkettocr: Matt Kemp will have X-rays taken of his injured ankle tonight. #Dodgers

  27. RT @billplunkettocr: Matt Kemp will have X-rays taken of his injured ankle tonight

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