Dodgers @ Reds September 6, 2013: No More Matt Kemp, Ever

September 6, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

greatamericanballparkMatt Kemp‘s nightmare season just keeps on getting worse. After trouble with his shoulder, hamstring, ankle, a bout with malaria (probably), and a severe case of the boogie woogie flu, David Vassegh reports that Kemp “felt tightness in one of his hamstrings” and has been shut down “indefinitely”. It’s the same right hamstring that put him on the disabled list back at the end of May; since then, he’s played only 11 games, 10 beginning on June 25 before injuring that shoulder, then one more on July 21 when he hurt his ankle in Washington.

At this point in the season, that might very well be it for him this year, as sad as that is to say. The minor league seasons are already done, and there’s only 23 games left in the major league season. That was already barely going to be enough time for Kemp to get back in action and prove that his recent struggles at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga were merely a case of difficulty getting his timing down after a long layoff, and now it may be nearly impossible. (Though I do look forward to the inevitable arguments over whether he should be added to the playoff roster before each round once he pronounces himself healthy.)

Dodgers
Reds
LF
Crawford
CF
Choo
RF
Puig
2B
Phillips
1B
Gonzalez
1B
Votto
SS
Ramirez
RF
Bruce
CF
Ethier
CF
Ludwick
3B
Uribe
3B
Frazier
2B
M.Ellis
SS
Cozart
C
Federowicz
C
Mesorasco
P
Capuano
P
Leake

Now on most teams, losing a player of Kemp’s caliber might be a death sentence at this point in the season. But the Dodgers haven’t really had a healthy and productive Kemp all season, have they? So the fact that he’s most likely not coming back — while disappointing to those who hoped that the superstar we saw in 2011 might join what is already the hottest team in baseball — may not cause as much pain as you’d think, at least as long as Andre Ethier keeps playing well. So much for too many outfielders, right?

So as the Dodgers prepare for the playoff run without Kemp, they face a possible playoff opponent in Cincinnati, and as expected, Don Mattingly breaks out a much more representative lineup than the one we saw in Colorado. With the exception of Tim Federowicz (in because he usually catches Chris Capuano), this is probably the lineup we’ll see when the playoffs get rolling — especially now that we know Kemp almost certainly won’t be back.

While this series doesn’t mean a whole lot to the Dodgers, it absolutely does to Cincinnati, since they enter the day three games behind Pittsburgh in the NL Central and 1.5 games behind the Cardinals for the first wild card, though since both are likely to get in it’s basically a battle for a home game. That means that the Reds will be playing all-out here, which means that we can all spend the weekend enjoying ridiculous buntastrophes and arguments about the value of the endlessly overrated Brandon Phillips. Good times?

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