Matt Kemp found out during the Dodgers 2-1 loss to Colorado on Sunday that he will be on crutches for the next month instead of playing in the postseason for Los Angeles. The superstar center fielder had a MRI that revealed swelling around his ankle in "major weight-bearing bones of his ankle," as described by Dr. ElAttrache.
It is a disappointing blow, especially because it seemed the Dodgers were going to be as close to full health as they had been all season with playoffs beginning. Injuries have been biggest obstacle for the Dodgers this season, but they have managed to handle Kemp's absence for most of it.
As Don Mattingly said, "without saying this in a bad way, we played all year long without Matt. We went 42-8 without Matt. We're capable of winning. We're not going to rollover."
Losing Kemp is a circumstance they have handled before, but the Dodgers relied on Andre Ethier in his absence before. Problem is he is banged up too and it is unclear when Ethier will return from a sprained ankle.
The Dodgers are not even sure if they will save Ethier a postseason roster spot in order to keep him available for pinch-hitting situations. Rosters for the NLDS are due Thursday morning. Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier started 133 of 162 games this season, and that is why the Dodgers are in a somewhat dire situation entering playoffs.
Mattingly still believes in his club, but he kind of has to at this point if they plan on going anywhere in the playoffs, "Obviously if you don't have Andre and you don't have Matt you're not as good as you could be. But we're still good enough to win."
The Braves are a very strong ball club, and it will be difficult taking them on without the Dodgers full lineup. At this point you just have to hope that Skip Schumaker delivers a passable center field performance, the rest of the lineup picks up the slack, and the pitcher trio of Kershaw-Greinke-Rio can all deliver strong starts.