Riding red hot Kemp and Ethier
Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to their best start since 2005. Kemp is also starting off the season hot, leading the league in home runs, RBIs, and runs scored. This year, Kemp is ready to make a statement and his teammate, Andre Ethier, will be there to pick him up.
On Friday night, Kemp blasted his eighth home run of the year against Houston Astros starter J. A. Happ. The two-run shot tied him with Wally Moon for the Dodger record for most home runs in 14 games. So far this year, Kemp is seeing the ball well, all of his home runs have been to the opposite field, and his .481 avg. and 1.000 slugging percentage shows that.
His partner in crime, Andre Ethier, is keeping up with the slugger as best as he can for now. He is starting to find his groove, bringing his batting avg. near the .300 mark, and is trailing Kemp by just one RBI. It shows that he also is making contact when the team needs it.
This unbelievable start of the season began in spring training, where all things are talked about and worked on in preparation for the regular season. Last year, it was shown that Matt and Andre could carry the club and be the rock for the team. A good start to the 2012 regular season would put them on the right track.
“Matt came to me in Spring Training and said we’re going to have to be the guys in the middle of the lineup to get things going,” Ethier said. “If we get going good, we should be a pretty good offense.”
Being a team player and picking each other up every day is a part of the game. Kemp and Ethier have both shown if one doesn’t come through offensively, the other is right there to reassure the opposing pitcher that it won’t be easy shutting down this lineup.
L.A. manager Don Mattingly loves everything about his pair of sluggers.
”He’s been amazing – him and Andre both,” Mattingly said. ”We talk about Matt because he’s hitting way up there, but Andre’s right there driving in runs with him every day. Those two together have been pretty special.”
It is great to see this Dodger team start off the season the way they are, especially with a team that was going through ownership issues during the off-season and parts of spring training. Fans of L.A. hope that this is a sign they are ready to move on and make a run in the post season. But the question is can these two sluggers keep this pace all year long?