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.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.