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Dodgers

Matt Kemp Returns as Dodgers Win -- Coincidence?

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Wed, Sep 18, 2013 at 11:37 AM

click to enlarge Matt Kemp - KEITH ALLISON/FLICKR
  • Keith Allison/Flickr
  • Matt Kemp

Since we're leading with rhetorical questions this morning, did the Dodgers' Tuesday 9-3 win in Arizona provide for a much-needed sigh of relief or what?

Was the four-run first inning rally an exhilarating change from the bases loaded walk representing the lone tally 24 hours earlier -- and, let's be honest -- actually come as a shock to the nervous system?

Did Matt Kemp's two doubles, two singles, all of them ripped 4-for-4 comeback game send you high fiving your watching-the-Bravo-Channel significant other, your dog, and if nobody was present, slow-dancing yourself to "It's a Beautiful Day for a Ballgame" until KCAL signed off with its usual lack of a postgame show? And what difference a day makes. With Los Angeles suffering defeats in nine of 12 contests, the health of star players in question, and a simply agonizing 2-1 loss to the Diamondbacks Monday night, the National League West clinching was looking increasing more difficult than it was supposed to be. And after 54 days on the disabled list, Kemp struck out in his first comeback at bat with the game on the line, and looked bad doing it. Desperate fans went scurrying for one-story buildings with conveniently-placed ledges a state away, and perhaps more importantly, fearful EMTs scavenged the Greater Phoenix area for straightjackets, poised to take all means necessary to prevent Don Mattingly from flashing yet another bunt sign. But OK. One easy win has put a stop to all the City of Dodgers angst-- at least temporarily -- and with one victory in the two remaining games in Arizona, the division will be won and the team will celebrate. The club will crack open the bubbly. If 25 Dodgers can avoid a detached retina from a stray popped champagne cork, we'll proceed to the National League Division Series beginning October 3, hopefully at Chavez Ravine, quite possibly with one Matt Kemp center stage, and in center field. With more experience than he bargained for, Kemp certainly has this first-start-after-an-injury thing down pat. Following 11 days on the shelf with a recurrence of pain in his surgically-repaired left shoulder, the Dodgers' franchise player returned July 21 in Washington with a stirring 3-4 game, launched a booming home run in his first at bat, added a double, and led his team to an easy 9-2 victory over the Nationals. He one-bettered the performance last night, only this time, there was no silly baserunning blunder in a meaningless ninth inning, and no need for crutches and an X-Ray in the clubhouse afterwards. Who knows if Kemp's big Tuesday night was a one-day thing, a preview of historic October accomplishments or something smack dab in the middle. Or if he'll be healthy come playoff time, or even for the series in San Diego this weekend. We do know that Dodger fans can enjoy his play as it occurs in real time, and they can gloat about it to the skeptics, as one clever Twitterer did last night. Somehow we got on a thread about haiku which morphed into another about limericks. And then there was this: Follow Howard Cole and LAWeekly on Twitter.

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