Thursday, July 19, 2012
Kemp sends Dodgers' fate the opposite way
AP Photo/Reed SaxonThe Los Angeles Dodgers needed somebody to stop the bleeding after heading into Wednesday's game on a four-game losing skid. Who better than Matt Kemp?
Matt Kemp hit his sixth career walk-off home run as the Dodgers beat the Phillies
Regulation baseball didn’t treat Kemp nicely as he went 0-4 with three strikeouts through the first nine innings. As it turned out, he was merely saving it for later.
After coming up with a game-tying infield single in the bottom of the 10th inning, Kemp went deep off of the Philadelphia Phillies Jacob Diekman in the bottom of the 12th for his eighth career walk-off hit.
Six of Kemp's eight walk-offs have cleared the fences including both this season. All six walk-off homers have come since 2010, two more than any other player in the majors and more than 12 entire teams.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Kemp is the first Dodger to have a game-tying hit in extra innings and then follow it up with a walk-off homer since the team moved to Los Angeles. The last non-Dodger to accomplish the feat was Mike Young of the 1987 Baltimore Orioles.
The all-world centerfielder has been limited to 41 games this season due to nagging hamstring injuries, but drove in three huge runs Wednesday - all in extra innings. In fact his three RBI match the extra-inning total the Dodgers had as a team entering the game.
Kemp’s home run looked similar to many of the others he has hit this season in that it came off of a fastball and he didn’t pull the pitch. Of Kemp’s 13 home runs, 10 have been off of heaters – all of which went out to center or right.
With seven opposite-field home runs, Kemp is tied for second in the majors. Only the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen has more with eight.