The fans at Dodger Stadium on Thursday night, the final home game of the season for the Los Angeles Dodgers, continually chanted, "M-V-P, M-V-P" for Matt Kemp, and they may be right. Kemp continued his assault on what could be the first triple crown in the National League in 74 seasons, with three doubles and a home run to lead the Dodgers over the San Francisco Giants 8-2.
Kemp in on fire right now, with two or more hits in each of his last six games. He has 15 hits in 25 at-bats during that span, raising his batting average from .314 to .326. He is currently no worse than third in any of the three triple crown categories in the National League:
Ryan Braun (Mil) .32967
Jose Reyes (NY) .32948
Albert Pujols (StL) 37
Dan Uggla (Atl) 35
Runs Batted In
Ryan Howard (Phi) 113
Prince Fielder (Mil) 112
The last National League player to win the triple crown was Joe "Ducky" Medwick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1937. The last major league triple crown winner was Carl Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox in 1967.
But that's not all. Kemp also leads the NL in runs (109), total bases (335), OPS (.985), and OPS+ (171). He is second in the league in slugging percentage (.582) and stolen bases (40), and is fourth in on-base percentage (.403).
Kemp still has an outside shot at becoming the fifth member of the 40/40 club, though he needs four home runs in his final six games. The Dodgers end their season with a pair of three game series, in San Diego and Arizona. Kemp ended his 2010 campaign with home runs in each of his final five games.
Perhaps Vin Scully put it best during Thursday's broadcast, when he said of Kemp, "That's not a bat he uses, that's a magic wand."
For a detailed recap of Matt Kemp's stellar night and the final 2011 game at Dodger Stadium, be sure to read True Blue LA.