It is a good thing the Dodgers have Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier to pick up the slack with the rest of the roster in shambles. The superstars are really the only players holding this team together.
File that under, "Things I Wish I Could Be Writing," after the Dodgers 3-1 victory over Milwaukee on Monday. Instead we sit wondering if this is the breakout game that will set the $34.5 million outfield duo back on track.
While Clayton Kershaw was throwing another gem, Kemp and Ethier produced all three of the Dodgers' runs for the night.
In the second inning, Kemp was walked by Yovani Gallardo and brought home on Ethier's triple. The hit could have been an out if played differently by Norichika Aoki, but it soared over his head and took an odd bounce off the wall, resulting in the RBI triple.
In the fourth inning, Ethier came to the plate and hit a huge, double-decker home run to right field. Kemp also hit a solo jack to left-center field in the sixth, giving the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.
The fact that Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier both hitting home runs feels exciting is, actually, quite frustrating. Isn't this the way it is supposed to be? When the rest of the roster falters, the team is supposed to rely on Kemp and Ethier to win games.
In 2013, Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez are the Dodgers most reliable players. Of the other $15 million-plus position players, Hanley Ramirez has spent most the season injured, while Kemp and Ethier have hardly been playing at replacement level with -0.4 and 0.1 WAR (Wins Above Replacement), respectively.
So while the buzz from Monday’s opener against Milwaukee is about Kemp and Ethier, the real story is the continued greatness of Clayton Kershaw. You've heard it before and it is not going to stop anytime soon, but do not miss a Kershaw start if you have the opportunity to watch it.
His complete game was complimented with five strikeouts, while giving up only one run, and three hits. Sounds like just another great outing, but his consistency is unreal.
In 10 starts this season he has allowed only 11 earned runs. Dating back to 2012, he has gone 23 straight starts allowing three earned runs or less.
Zach Greinke takes the mound on Tuesday in his first start in Milwaukee since being traded to Anaheim in 2012. If he lasts seven innings, it will be the first back-to-back seven-inning starts for the Dodgers since last August.