Thank you for a great season, Matt Kemp.
Well, that was some final night of baseball, wasn't it? While the Red Sox and Braves snatched defeat from the jaws of victory to complete their dual epic collapses, the Rays and Cardinals were busy snatching their respective wild cards. Meanwhile in Arizona, Matt Kemp, Ted Lilly, and the Dodgers went out winners, 7-5 over the Diamondbacks.
Kemp hit his 39th home run of the season in the seventh inning, to win the outright National League home run crown, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. He had a shot in the ninth inning to join the 40/40 club, but struck out against Ryan Cook. Still, Kemp's season was ridiculous. He hit .324/.399/.586 on the year, and tied for second in the league with 40 steals.
Kemp is the first player to finish in the top two in both home runs and stolen bases since Hank Aaron in 1963.
Kemp lead the league with 39 home runs. Adrian Beltre (2004) is the only other LA Dodger to do that.
Kemp lead the league with 126 RBI. Tommy Davis (1962) is the only other LA Dodger to do that. Davis, with 153 RBI that year, is the only LA Dodger with more RBI in a season than Kemp.
Kemp lead the league with 115 runs scored. Brett Butler (1991) is the only other LA Dodger to do that.
Kemp is the second Dodger ever to lead the league in both runs and RBI, joining Duke Snider (1955).
Kemp is the third Dodger ever to lead the league in both homers and RBI, joining Dolph Camilli (1941) and Oyster Burns (1890).
Kemp lead the league with 353 total bases. The last Dodger to do that was Snider in 1954, when the club was in Brooklyn.
No matter how you slice it, Matt Kemp had a season for the ages. A deserving National League MVP.
Lilly continued his second half resurgence, pitching seven scoreless innings to pick up his 12th win of the season. Since the beginning of August, Lilly put up a 2.09 ERA in 11 starts, with 21 unintentional walks and 64 strikeouts in 69 innings. To top that, Lilly didn't allow a single home run over his last six starts and 42 2/3 innings, avoiding the 30/30 club.
James Loney continued his second half surge with his 12th home run of the season. Loney in his last 35 games of the year hit .388/.438/.679 with 16 doubles and seven home runs.
Dee Gordon had two hits, scored two runs, and added another stolen base. He ended his abbreviated rookie season hitting .304/.325/.362, a remarkable rise considering he was hitting .232/.250/.280 when he was optioned to the minors on July 4. Gordon since his recall on July 31 hit .345/.367/.408 with five walks and 11 strikeouts in 148 plate appearances.
Jerry Sands continued his September run with two more singles, and finished his season with 24 hits in his last 59 at-bats (.407). Fellow rookie Justin Sellers shook off his late slump with two doubles in his final game too.
Eugenio Velez also made history on Wednesday, but not the good kind. He grounded out in the top of the eighth, ending his season at 0 for 37, the most at-bats ever by a position player in without a hit. In addition, Velez is 0 for his last 46, the longest stretch of futility by a position player in major league history, surpassing Bill Bergen (1909) and Craig Counsell (2011).
Kenley Jansen got the final two outs of the season, but amazingly didn't strike anybody out. He ended his season with 96 strikeouts in 53 2/3 innings, a new major league record of 16.10 strikeouts per nine innings.
The Dodgers ended with an 82-79 record, including going 25-10 over their last 35 games.
See you next April 5, when reigning National League Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw goes 1-0 on the season at Petco Park.
WP - Ted Lilly (12-14): 7 IP, 3 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
LP - Joe Saunders (12-13): 6 IP, 9 hits, 5 runs, 2 strikeouts
Sv - Kenley Jansen (5): 2 up, 2 down