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.
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.
Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.
The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.
While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.
Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.
It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.