Dodgers @ Blue Jays July 22, 2013: Matt Kemp Plays the Waiting Game

July 22, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

rogerscentreA team from Los Angeles is playing in Canada tonight with a Korean on the mound, a Cuban in the outfield, and a Mexican and two Dominicans in the infield. Baseball is just the best game sometimes, isn’t it?

Still not convinced? A month ago today I wrote about how the Dodgers were on pace to be the worst team in Los Angeles history. I didn’t say they would be, because I didn’t consider that to be realistic, but nonetheless, the pace was there. I was hardly the only one pitching doom & gloom that day, remember; since then, one month ago, they have lost exactly five games. Baseball, again, never lets you down.

Well, it doesn’t unless you’re rooting for Matt Kemp, and you certainly didn’t expect him to be playing tonight, did you? Of course you didn’t, not with the ugly way that ankle twisted yesterday — and count your blessings that I’m not showing the GIF here again. Dylan Hernandez reports that Kemp will miss the entire series, and that Don Mattingly is now “less certain” that Kemp will avoid the disabled list. Bill Plunkett adds that contrary to what we heard yesterday, they will now be doing x-rays. Shocking, I know.

Blue Jays

Honestly, why are they even messing around with this? It’s disappointing to be sure, but how many times do we need to learn A) not to rush Kemp through an injury or B) not to make Mattingly play short-handed? The Triple-A Isotopes are on the road in Nashville, so it’s not like Scott Van Slyke even had to get all the way back across the country; you can get nonstop flights from Nashville to Toronto that take only two hours, and so Van Slyke had better be on his way north, if not in the country already. (If he even left the Dodgers from Washington in the first place, which there’s reason to believe he didn’t.) There’s just no reason to have Mattingly be a man short — more than a man, really, because using the designated hitter already takes away a bench bat — for days at a time while you try to figure out whether or not Kemp can play.

Interestingly enough, it’s not Andre Ethier starting in his place in center field, or even Skip Schumaker — it’s Yasiel Puig, making his second start of the season there, so that should be fun. Schumaker slides over to right field as Ethier will DH, indicating one again that there’s no such thing as too many outfielders. (Or starting pitchers, which we know already.)

For Toronto, where the Dodgers haven’t visited since 2007, it’s been a tremendously disappointing season after the huge winter shopping spree that netted them Jose Reyes, R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson (tonight’s starter), Melky Cabrera, and others. They briefly showed some signs of life with a ten-game winning streak in mid-June, but since then they’ve lapsed back into last in the AL East, and just kicked off the second half by being swept at home by Tampa Bay.

For a temperature check on how it’s going for the Jays right now, we turn to the geniuses at Drunk Jays Fans:

The Blue Jays are not good enough to overcome Brandon Morrow being hurt and R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson and Ricky Romero being this bad.

A lot of insufferable sourpusses who are too mentally weak to stop themselves from vomiting negativity and patting themselves on the back for it would sure like to pretend that I should have stopped after the seventh word of that sentence, and a lot of words have been written and hands have been wrung about all the other stuff– none of which has been perfect, mind you– but you really need to look no further than those four names. Even after games where it hasn’t been them, it’s them.

All the other shit– the defence being bad, Emilio Bonifacio being bad, Melky being hurt, J.P. Arencibia being disgustingly atrocious, random variance taking a huge dump on the situational hitting and when the decent hitting and pitching performances line up–gets glossed over tremendously with stronger starting pitching.

So there’s that. I’d like to say it’s going to get better for them soon, but with a pitching lineup of Johnson, Todd Redmond, & Esmil Rogers set for the Dodgers series — yes, those are real names, I swear — I’m guessing they might need to wait just a little while longer.

Oh, and Matt Garza got traded to Texas and Ryan Braun got suspended, so it’s not like we’re short of news today. I’ll say this — on Garza, the return really makes me like the Ricky Nolasco deal more & more, and on Braun, you’d be well-served to hang on to the gloating. The odds of this scandal extending no further than names we know like Braun, Alex Rodriguez, and Nelson Cruz are approximately zero, so take a deep breath on all that before just assuming that no one on your favorite team could possibly be caught up in this. I have a lot of issues with the way MLB has handled all of this, so no one’s clean here, and when more names come out — and they will — just pray that it’s no one who we’ll miss.

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