Matt Kemp undergoes MRI on shoulder, will miss rest of weekend series with Giants

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If the Dodgers are going to make up any ground in the playoff race this weekend, they are going to have to do it without Matt Kemp.

According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Kemp will undergo a dye contrast MRI on his left shoulder today which will force him to miss the rest of this weekend’s series against the Giants.

Kemp is just 3-for-30 (.100) since colliding into the center field fence in Coors Field on August 28. He was diagnosed with a bone bruise above his knee and a bruised jaw at the time, but the shoulder has emerged as the bigger issue.

Shane Victorino will slide start in center field in Kemp’s absence this afternoon while Juan Rivera will play left. Losers of three straight, the Dodgers open play today at 73-66 on the year, 5 1/2 games behind the Giants in the National League West and 1 1/2 games back in the Wild Card race.

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UPDATE, 8:06 PM: According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, the MRI showed inflammation and “some fraying of the labrum.” The Dodgers are hoping he can return on Tuesday.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.