Matt Kemp Out: Dodgers Breaking Bad on Eve of Playoffs
Things just broke bad for the Dodgers on the eve of the postseason. Matt Kemp is done for the playoffs.
"If I keep on playing, my ankle could break," Kemp said to reporters with his crutches ominously leaning against his locker behind him.
Dr. Neal ElAttrache told reporters later that an MRI taken during the game showed Kemp had swelling in his talus bone in his ankle, "one of the major weight-bearing bones of the ankle," he said. "Since that is an area that can be vulnerable with impact and injury, we have to protect Matt. That could lead to further injury."
Kemp will be on crutches to keep weight off of his left ankle for the next month when he will be reexamined and further prognosis can be made.
This news hit like a brick just one day after scratching Kemp from the lineup late was only seen as being precautionary.
"It's crazy," Kemp said. "I played the night before all nine innings and felt good going home. I woke up the next morning, and my ankle was really stiff and sore."
But Don Mattingly refused to let this derail the team.
"At this point there is nothing to do about it besides move on," he said. "I don't think anybody in that room will be willing to give this thing up because Matt is hurt."
"We're going to miss him," Hanley Ramirez said. "He loves this game so much, it's not going to be easy for him.
"We've just got to concentrate on positive stuff right now and try to win the first game."
The first game the Dodgers play in the NL Divisional Series will be on Thursday in Atlanta. Ending the season with a 92-70 record, the feat of making the postseason seemed impossible when they started out 30-42.
Fans are excited about the Dodgers making the playoffs. A group hung an illegal "Fear LA" banner in the right field pavilion on Saturday for a couple of innings before getting it confiscated.
But I'm not so confident.
Here is the list of players either injured or playing through injury right now:
- Matt Kemp (left ankle)
- Hanley Ramirez (sciatic nerve)
- Andre Ethier (shin splints)
- Jerry Hairston (back)
- Yasiel Puig (hip)
- Adrian Gonzalez (quads)
- Nick Punto (ingrown toenail)
I'm sure the Dodgers would prefer if this list wasn't as long as it is. But it explains a lot of why after their magical 51-13 run the Dodgers managed only a 12-15 record in September.
Mattingly has said repeatedly that Ramirez and Gonzalez don't worry him. But I doubt if anyone counted on Skip Schumaker being the Dodgers centerfielder in Game 1 of the playoffs.
Of course pitching wins championships, and the Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke to throw at the Braves in the first two games. The problem is that the Dodgers are 19-14 when Kershaw pitches, and Kershaw will most likely win the Cy Young.
There is one thing that stops me from counting the Dodgers out. I saw the Kings in 2012 completely turn on the switch in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and steamroll their way to the Cup. The Dodgers could do the same.
However, the Kings were pretty close to 100% healthy when they made their run. The Dodgers?
Fun note: The Dodgers became the first divison winner since the World Champion 2006 St. Louis Cardinals to have a losing record in their division. The Dodgers finished up 37-39. So many that's a sign that I'm completely full of shit?