Dodgers Way Quick Hits: Matt Kemp Gives the Dodgers Deja Blue
The Dodgers won a game last night that felt very similar to Friday night’s win. For the second consecutive night, the Dodgers won thanks to a clutch eighth-inning home run.
If the Dodgers go on to win their sixth straight NL West division title, it will be easy to remember some of the biggest moments of the regular season. The past two nights may be the biggest highlights of another division title. One night after winning on a Justin Turner eighth-inning home run, the Dodgers won on an eighth-inning home run by Matt Kemp.
As big as that home run was to the Dodgers, the home run might have been even more important to Matt Kemp. Kemp has been struggling in the second half of the season, posting a .212/.295/.345 slash line with four home runs. Last night’s homer might be just what Kemp needed to halt his second-half slide.
Last night’s come back win was essentially worth two games. Had the Dodgers lost they would have been two games back of the Diamondbacks but now they are knotted in first place with the same 74-62 record. Should the Dodgers go on to win the West by a few games, look back at Labor day weekend as the moment that changed the Dodgers’ season.
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- Clayton Kershaw put together another solid outing for the Dodgers as he has turned back into being the dependable ace of the Dodgers staff. Since the all-star break, Kershaw has posted a 1.94 ERA to go along with a 0.83 WHIP. Both numbers are lower than his career averages. Despite declining velocity, Kershaw is still pitching like Kershaw.
- The Dodgers are already making full use of roster expansion, as they recalled Tim Locastro, Alex Verdugo, Andrew Toles, and Kyle Farmer. Chase Utley and Zac Rosscup were activated from the DL while catcher Rocky Gale is also supposed to get a promotion.
- The Tulsa Drillers clinched a playoff spot yesterday and were led by Dustin May who pitched six-plus innings while allowing just two hits and two earned runs. May now has a 3.67 ERA in Double-A which is inflated due to two bad starts where he allowed five runs. May has the best chance of becoming the Dodgers next star pitching prospect.
- Kenley Jansen successfully converted another high pressure save situation last night as it appears Jansen has turned the corner on his struggles. Jansen said he worked with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and noticed a flaw in his delivery. If Jansen is fully back, then the Dodgers bullpen just got a tremendous boost.