Matt Kemp is a talented baseball player. In 2011 he was arguably the best hitter in the MLB. Last year, after posting numbers in the beginning of the season that were extraordinary, he began to have shoulder ailments. Decent, yet still disappointing numbers were the result. Kemp was the spark of the Dodgers, and while his struggles continue, Clayton Kershaw has come to lead the Dodgers. After suffering a major blow in the opening series versus the Giants, the Dodgers are back above .500, and things are looking up.
Ever since Matt Stairs hit a two run homer off Jonathan Broxton in the top of the 8th, Game 4 of the 2008 National League Championship Series, the Dodgers have been without a consistent closer. This year, however, Brandon League seems to be getting the job done quite nicely. His control isn’t top-notch, but he has been getting some great movement on his fast ball. Regardless of what manager Don Mattingly has in plan to do with Kenely Janson, it’s great to have a solid closer.
Despite this, the Dodgers have really not been that impressive offensively. Matt Kemp is hitting .056, and Luis Cruz and Justin Sellers have yet to notch their fist base hit of the season. Kemp, Sellers, and Cruz all went hitless on Saturday night versus the Pittsburgh Pirates. Yet the Dodgers managed to win, lead by Clayton Kershaw. Opening day, Kershaw through a complete game shotout, striking out 7, allowing only 4 hits, and hitting a home run. Thursday night, in 7 innings pitched, he allowed on 2 hits, and struck out 9 frustrated Pirates. On Wednesday night versus the Pirates, Zach Grinke threw six and a third scoreless innings, allowing 2 hits and striking out 6. It remains to be seen if Hyun-Jin Ryu and Josh Beckett will rise to the occasion, but if they do, teams other than the Pirates will have a very tough time offensively against the Dodgers.