Nationals @ Dodgers May 14, 2013: Matt Kemp Must Be Playing Second Base Tonight

May 14, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

dodger_stadium_openingday2013Yesterday, I went into all the reasons why rushing Zack Greinke seemed like a questionable choice but why it was so obvious that it was happening no matter what the team said, finishing with “all that being said, absolutely get ready to see him on Wednesday.” So what do we have today? Confirmation that he is indeed starting for the Dodgers tomorrow, as Rancho will have to suffer through Ted Lilly instead. We may yet see a Josh Beckett DL trip, though Matt Magill should still not get too comfortable.

That’s an issue for tomorrow, however, because tonight we have Clayton Kershaw against Dan Haren and something truly interesting: Matt Kemp, hitting second. Kemp has started there 90 times in his career, though not since 2010, when he did it 41 times, and I actually quite like the idea. Though the power has clearly not been there, Kemp has been getting on base, riding a 12-game hitting streak and a line of .337/.396/.407 dating back over his last 22 games.

Nationals
Dodgers
2B
Espinosa
LF
Crawford
LF
Lombardozzi
CF
Kemp
3B
Zimmerman
1B
Gonzalez
SS
Desmond
RF
Ethier
1B
LaRoche
C
A.Ellis
RF
Moore
2B
Schumaker
C
Ramos
3B
Punto
CF
Perez
SS
Gordon
P
Haren
P
Kershaw

That puts Carl Crawford & Kemp, ideally, on base a whole lot for Adrian Gonzalez, Andre Ethier, & A.J. Ellis. Obviously, the Dodgers have had trouble all season with driving in the runners they do get on base, so who knows if this will fix that at all, but I do like Don Mattingly‘s attempt to change things up without doing something foolish like putting Dee Gordon first and Crawford third.

The Nationals, meanwhile, won’t have Bryce Harper after last night’s scary collision, and Denard Span gets a day off that is probably not-so-coincidentally timed to Kershaw being on the mound. With Jayson Werth banged up — stop me if you’ve heard that before — their outfield tonight is actually Steve LombardozziEury PerezTyler Moore. That’s… not quite what it could be.

Finally, some additional news on injured Dodgers on the mend: Mark Ellis & Jerry Hairston are each scheduled to begin rehab assignments in Chattanooga on Friday. You hear that, Luis Cruz? Your time is growing short.

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