The All Star outfielder, and undisputed leader of the Los Angeles Dodgers does not have the pop off his bat he used to have. He doesn’t have the snap or the crackle either. The sound accompanying a Matt Kemp swing was a thwap, like when the ball hit the catcher’s glove.
But Matt Kemp hit his first home run of the season Wednesday night in a loss to the Mets. The home run came against Mets flame thrower Matt Harvey no less.
Going into the game the Mets young phenom Matt Harvey had only allowed 10 hits in his first 4 starts. Matt kemp only had 4 extra base hits. The 4-0 starter had a nonexistent .92 ERA. Matt Kemp debuted a sheepish .235 average. Watching Harvey pitch, and Kemp swing, it did not appear to be one of those “something has to give” situations.
Something did give. It looked something like this controversial home run.
Kemp drove the 2-0 dealing from Harvey, and the ball which may have gone out popped back into play as Kemp legged out a triple. Donny Baseball knows a home run when he sees one, so he came out to argue, and the umps did the right thing to go look at the replay.
It is almost impossible to tell in the first angle. But in the alternative straight on angle, it is apparent that the ball bounces off of the hands of the stadium personnel dude perched by the foul pole. It clumsily bounces off his hands, and back onto the field. Luckily Kemp didn’t aggravate a hamstring on the cold New York night hustling to third. The umps correctly changed the call to a home run.
No matter how many times I’ve seen it, I still am a sucker for the tradition where Kemp’s Dodger’s teammates gave him the cold shoulder as he came back to the dugout to finally celebrate his first home run of the year. After a lap up the dugout, finally Carl Crawford breaks the act and gives him a big high five.
After Thursday’s game, Kemp has 4 RBIs in his last 2 games. That is an encouraging sign for a team in desperate need of offense. But unfortunately the bullpen blew Wednesday’s lead, and gave up a grand slam in the 10th to give up the game.