LOS ANGELES -- The long, national nightmare is over. Matt Kemp returns to the starting lineup for the Dodgers for the first time since Thursday, after five games riding the bench. Kemp gets the start in left field in Wednesday night's series finale against the Reds, his first time at the position in eight seasons.
"It's a little different, but I'm just excited to be able to get back out there," Kemp said.
Kemp last played a major league game in left field on June 21, 2006, his rookie season. Kemp played 11 games at the position that year, including eight starts, all within the first 21 games of his career. Now, 989 games later, Kemp is back at the position.
"It's just angles, slices, and all that. I'll figure it out," Kemp explained. "I think I'm still a pretty good athlete, so I think I'll be okay."
Kemp bats sixth on Wednesday, after being limited to a pair of pinch hitting appearances in the last five games. He is 4-for-14 (.286) with a home run in his career against Reds starter Homer Bailey.
Andre Ethier, 0-for-18 in his career against Bailey, starts and bats second, again in center field.