Though he remains stuck on one home run through the Dodgers' first 40 games, at least Matt Kemp can say he's taken the same number away from their opponents.
The Gold Glove center fielder turned in one of the finest defensive plays we've seen in the first seven weeks on Saturday night, gliding into position, timing his jump, and then hanging in the air just long enough to bring back a Jason Heyward fly ball that wasn't quite ticketed for the bleachers, but definitely had enough juice to clear the wall.
The play happened in the first inning with the game still scoreless. Heyward, who just returned to Atlanta's lineup on Friday after missing 23 games following an emergency appendectomy in Colorado, was making a bid for his third home run of the year. Another foot, maybe 2, he has it, but instead all he could do was tip his helmet to Kemp out of respect for the play he'd just made.
As the game continued, it looked like Kemp's robbery would hold up as the most important play in the game. The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the eighth behind an excellent outing by Chris Capuano, before manager Don Mattingly turned to his set-up man, Kenley Jansen. That's where things went south quickly, as Evan Gattis (two-run shot) and Andrelton Simmons parked back-to-back big flys in places Kemp couldn't reach to make it 3-1.
Atlanta's Craig Kimbrel closed things out in the ninth for his thirteenth save. Meanwhile, the Dodgers fell to 17-24 and seven games out of first as their incredibly frustrating season continued down the wrong path.
- Sports & Recreation
- Matt Kemp
- Jason Heyward