Looking for the key to unlock Matt Kemp

August, 21, 2012
8/21/12
5:48
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- Some managers will encourage a slumping player to relax, to perhaps skip batting practice one day, to try not to think about hitting for a while.

Don Mattingly isn't one of them. He says he thinks the best way out of slumps is to take extra swings and study extra video, approaches he has encouraged his best hitter, Matt Kemp, to take as he tries to emerge from an 0-for-19 slump. Kemp hasn't had a hit since last Wednesday in Pittsburgh, his batting average shedding more than 25 points.

"We just want to pay enough attention to it and for him to do enough work on it without panicking," Mattingly said. "It’s usually an inch away. As a player when you’re in an 0-for-19 you feel like it’s three feet away. We’ve got to keep him from doing anything drastic."

On one hand, Tuesday night looks like a shaky time for Kemp to snap out of it. He is a .243 hitter against Tim Lincecum with no home runs and 17 strikeouts in 37 career at-bats. Then again, Lincecum hasn't been Lincecum this year. He's 6-12 with a 5.45 ERA.

Here are the lineups for Tuesday as the Dodgers try to get back into first place:

San Francisco
Angel Pagan CF
Marco Scutaro 2B
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Buster Posey 1B
Hunter Pence RF
Hector Sanchez C
Gregor Blanco LF
Brandon Crawford SS
Tim Lincecum P

Dodgers
Shane Victorino LF
Adam Kennedy 2B
Matt Kemp CF
Andre Ethier RF
Hanley Ramirez SS
James Loney 1B
Luis Cruz 3B
A.J. Ellis C
Joe Blanton P

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Zack Greinke
WINS ERA SO IP
3 2.76 21 16
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Uribe .379
HRA. Gonzalez 5
RBIA. Gonzalez 14
RA. Gonzalez 11
OPSJ. Uribe 1.000
ERAD. Haren 2.04
SOH. Ryu 22