The Los Angeles Dodgers needed an emphatic return from their superstar, craving an impact bat to compliment Yasiel Puig’s incredible run. Matt Kemp returned from the DL today and delivered in his very first at bat, homering against Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann.
Perhaps now is the time that Matt Kemp will finally show up for the 2013 season. The All-Star is mired in the worst season of his career. Not only is he missing time due to injury, he also is not delivering at the level fans have come to expect from him when he is able to take the field.
Kemp was batting just .254 with 4 home runs and 24 RBIs over 224 at bats and 61 games.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly now has four outfielders and only three starting positions. He has said that he will start the lineup that gives him the best chance to win on any given night, and for the first time that might mean sitting Kemp. However the All-Star outfielder did his best to quiet that conversation for a little while with his impact performance in today after returning from the DL.
Matt Kemp needs to deliver more performances such as this one or fans will begin to question whether he was worth the $160 million contract he signed before last season.
The Dodgers are working on staking their claim at the National League West divisional crown, their comeback is nearly complete as they now trail the Arizona Diamondbacks by just a half game.
Matt Kemp didn’t wait long to make an impact in his return from the DL, homering in his first at bat and sparking a 7 run second inning against the Nationals quality pitching.
A major piece of that offensive explosion, he led off the second with a solo shot, and also added a doubled home a run later in the same inning to put the game away early.
Yasiel Puig sat out the game after struggling with a hip ailment. He has cooled off after his astonishing start to the season. Mattingly said that “He seemed a little lost to me the last couple of days, just kind of confused at the plate. A day to watch sometimes is good.”
Matt Kemp will look to continue making a huge impact in his return from the DL and propel his team to a divisional title and lead a postseason run. Yasiel Puig may have the national spotlight, but Matt Kemp is a proven All-Star that will be a driving force behind the Dodgers playoff chances.
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Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express