The Los Angeles Dodgers’ cornerstones of the franchise played important, successful roles in the 9-2 win and sweep of the Washington Nationals on Sunday afternoon; but they each came with their own brand of bad news.
Matt Kemp returned from the 15 day DL like he left it, on fire. He belted his 3rd home run in 4 games. The blast was the biggest feather in the ball cap of a 3-4 performance which only omitted a triple or he would have hit for the cycle.
Kemp had apparently just got it going again before hitting the DL for the second time this season, and I was nervous he would go back to the slumping All Star. But he burst out, and back into the lineup like we grew accustomed to seeing Kemp play over that torrid year and a half.
But in the ninth inning, when the game was well out of reach, Kemp turned his ankle during a play at the plate. The Dodgers were winning 9-2, and everybody but Kemp, Adam LaRoche who bizarrely threw home for the 3rd force out, and Kemp’s fantasy owners were content for Kemp to stay at 3rd or be ‘safely’ out at home. Instead he is out of the lineup against the Toronto Blue Jays Monday, and the Dodgers are awaiting results from his precautionary X-Rays.
Clayton Kershaw got the win Sunday, his ninth of the season. He only allowed 2 runs while striking out 9 in 7 innings. Even during such a strong outing though, his NL leading 1.98 ERA jumped up to above 2.00. Kershaw’s ERA now stands at 2.01 for the season.
It’s not the end of the world, but no one in a Dodger uniform has had a sub 2.00 ERA since Sandy Koufax. Kershaw will try to duck under 2 again when he takes the mound on Friday agains the Reds.