Adrian Gonzalez #23 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is greeted by Matt Kemp #27 as he returns to the dugout after hitting a solo home run in the fifth inning against the St Louis Cardinals at Dodger Stadium on May 25, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
The last two days have not come kindly to Dodgers centerfielder, Matt Kemp.
On Saturday fans booed Kemp after he struck out in the third inning. It was part of a 0-3 performance that, frankly, has been all too common for the super star lately.
Since his 14-game hitting streak ended on May 15, Kemp has only five hits in 34 plate appearances. In four games he has gone hitless in three or more at bats, and he is hitting just .161.
Obviously, fans have taken notice and they are voicing their frustration. Kemp responded to the booing in a post-game interview.
“It is what it is, that’s how they feel. Ya know, booing me. Let them do what they want to do,” he said.
In the middle of a 0-3 night, Don Mattingly removed Kemp from the game. Kemp appeared to to be yelling at his manager in anger, although he denied it was targeted towards him in any way. It was “just shouting,” Kemp said.
Even when he is not in the game Kemp still gets plenty of attention. There was a swirl of controversy over him not being in the starting lineup on Sunday against St. Louis.
Mattingly said, "I'm trying to make baseball decisions that are the best. Today, for me, not playing Matt is the best thing for him and the best thing for us."
Without Kemp in the lineup, Skip Schumaker started in center field and went 1-4.
In the eighth inning of the one-run game, Kemp came in as a pinch hitter with Dee Gordon on first base and one out. He promptly hit a grounder to the shortstop, resulting in a double play.
As Kemp’s offensive slump continues his season numbers have fallen to .261/.313/.344. He will make $22 million this year.
The Dodgers face the Angels starting on Monday. Hopefully Matt Kemp can get some production against starters C.J. Wilson, Joe Blanton, and Jason Vargas.