For someone who was once thought of as a future corner outfielder at best, Matt Kemp sure seems to be making a home for himself in center field. He seems to make a couple of head-turning plays per game, and he's gotten so good that even on routine singles -- like Jayson Werth's in the ninth inning Friday night -- it's not outlandish to think Kemp will somehow make the catch.
Here are Kemp's rankings among fellow center fielders on defense:
|Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR)||+7.5 runs||2nd in MLB|
|Fielding Runs Above Average (FRAA)||+10|
|Revised Zone Rating (RZR)||.945||10th|
If his defense isn't enough to wow you, Kemp is also working on a 10-game hitting streak, during which he is hitting .438 (14 for 32).
Hiroki Kuroda makes his second start since coming off the disabled list. In two career regular season starts against the Phillies, Kuroda has allowed four hits, and the Phillies are hitting .095/.152/.143 against him. Kuroda was also able to get the only Dodger win of last year's NLCS.
For the third straight game, the Dodgers face a pitcher with an ERA over 5.00, but like Cole Hamels on Thursday, Joe Blanton has pitched better than his record. Even though his ERA is 5.86 through 10 starts, his x-FIP is 4.08.
Nobody guessed Saturday's game in our Russell Martin HR contest, and maybe it was because they read David Golebiewski's analysis of Martin's declining power on Fangraphs, one that ends with the sobering thought:
Martin is just entering what are typically the peak years of a player’s career, but might we have seen his best already?
Get your guesses in for today's "She Is Gone" contest here.