The Dodgers will try to stave off a sweep by the Padres on Wednesday night but will do so without center fielder Matt Kemp, who has been held out of the starting lineup for the first time this season. Skip Schumaker gets the start in center field.
Kemp, hitting just .185 (10-for-54) with no home runs in 14 games, took early batting practice with hitting coach Mark McGwire and manager Don Mattingly on Wednesday. Specifically, they were focused on hitting pitches low and away.
"The ball down has been giving him problems, and getting away from him. He's just got to back the ball up a little bit. You try to go get it, it gets you in trouble," said manager Don Mattingly. "It's easy to say. When things aren't going right, you have a tendency to want to make it happen."
Mattingly expanded on Kemp needing to stay back on the ball.
"It's more where you're hitting the ball," Mattingly said. "If you're all the way out there, you're always extended and it's not going anywhere because you're already out there. If you get fooled at all, it's a roller."
In Tuesday's 9-2 loss, Kemp was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and Mattingly could see the frustration.
"It's just the body language more than anything. You see guys struggle, and sometimes it helps to just sit back and watch a game. It gives him another day with the off day tomorrow," Mattingly said. "I wanted to give him 10-12 days off over the course of 162 games anyway."
Kemp's seat on the bench Wednesday night will be a little more comfortable as his wallet got a little lighter. He was fined a reported $2,500 for his actions both during and after Thursday's brawl in San Diego, per Pedro Moura of the Orange County Register.
While the Dodgers' best hitter, albeit a slumping one sits, the Padres welcomed back their best hitter on Wednesday, as Chase Headley was activated from the disabled list and is starting at third base.
Time: 7:10 p.m.