Something strange is happening at Dodger Stadium.
Suddenly, remarkably, the Dodgers are healthier and playing better baseball.
The Dodgers’ 6-5 victory Tuesday over the San Francisco Giants was their fourth consecutive, their longest winning streak of the season. They won with hitting, fielding and starting pitching the Giants could not match in the middle game of a three-game series.
With center fielder Matt Kemp back on the job Tuesday for the Dodgers after nearly a month on the disabled list because of a strained hamstring and with Yasiel Puig firmly entrenched in right field and with Andre Ethier filling in capably in Kemp’s absence and with Carl Crawford on the mend, how is Dodgers manager Don Mattingly going to juggle his outfielders? Kemp will play in center and Puig will be in right, Mattingly said.
Ethier could move to left or take a seat on the bench.
Crawford could play left or take a seat on the bench.
Puig could play left in order to make way for Ethier or Crawford.
“It’s not a problem,” Mattingly said of the Dodgers’ impending return to health.
“We’ve been saying we’re pretty much at full strength,” Mattingly added. “This (Kemp’s return from the DL) kind of puts us there. Obviously, Carl’s not back yet, but w kind of inserted Yasiel there. We’ll figure that piece out when Carl gets back, but our lineup is pretty much back to full strength.”
Matt Kemp was penciled into the Dodgers’ lineup, set to play center field Tuesday for the first time since he was placed on the disabled list because of a strained right hamstring on May 30.Kemp sat out 24 games, including Monday’s 3-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers, last in the NL West, were 11-13 in his absence.
“We don’t need Matt Kemp coming back as a rehab player,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “We need him to be Matt Kemp.”
The Dodgers planned to make sure they made it through batting practice before officially activating Kemp from the 15-day disabled list.
Said Kemp: “Feel real good. Glad to be back on a baseball field and play some baseball. I feel good. I wouldn’t be playing if my hamstring didn’t feel good. My legs feel good. Shoulder feels good. Everything feels good. It’s a good day to play baseball. I’m in the lineup today. I’m ready to play. We’re playing the Giants today. Excited about that. Excited to get back on the field and play with my teammates and help them win as many games as I can.”