There was no one better than Matt Kemp in April. Baseball fans closely watched each of Kemp’s at-bats, wondering what he could possibly do next, and he always seemed to deliver when the Dodgers most needed him to come through. But with a nagging hamstring injury holding him back from returning to the lineup on a consistent basis, the month of May was a month to forget for the superstar center fielder. In fact, Kemp didn’t even hit a single home run in May after belting 12 in April.
Kemp was on the DL for a little more than two weeks prior to re-injuring it again on Wednesday, and surprisingly enough, the Dodgers were able to go 9-5 without him in the lineup daily. So it’s not like they can’t win without Kemp, it’s just how long can they last without possibly the best hitter in baseball?
Don Mattingly’s Dodgers should be somewhat concerned because guys like A.J. Ellis, Jerry Hairston Jr., and newly acquired Bobby Abreu aren’t going to maintain a .300+ batting average for the entire season, and those are the guys that are currently carrying the load for the Dodgers. They could easily just start slumping at any moment, and their track records show that that is a major possibility.
Then who carries the load?
Well, Andre Ethier can get hot and go on torrid streaks, but without Kemp in the lineup, why would opposing pitchers pitch to him if he became the only threat? that prediction seems unlikely. Other than Ethier, Don Mattingly doesn’t have much to work with which is why he should have some sense of worry running through his mind.
How Will the Struggling Rockies Stay in Contention Without Tulowitzki?
Unlike the Dodgers, the Rockies have been near the celluar in the N.L. West for the entire season and a setback to their star shortstop is the last thing they want considering that Tulowitzki hasn’t been tearing the ball up this season. He’s hitting .287 with eight home runs and just 27 runs batted in. I just wouldn’t match those numbers to Tulowitzki’s name, which is why this injury comes at the wrong time for Tulo and the Rockies.
But with that said, the Rockies play nine of their next twelve games at the hitter’s heaven park, Coors Field and unfortunately, Tulowitzki won’t be apart of that stretch which is bad news for the Rockies who outside of Carlos Gonzalez, lack power.
In the end, the Rockies have a very slim chance at reaching the postseason. They got off to a very slow start while the Dodgers just breezed through the first month and practically pulled away from the entire National League. Now that the Giants are starting to get hot, a postseason berth doesn’t seem likely for Colorado even with the new wildcard spot. This is a big stretch for them at their home park and it’s too bad their star shortstop will have to miss a crucial stretch of games.