With two games left in the regular season, Matt Kemp might have a long shot at winning the National League triple crown, but he still has some statistical goals in play. Kemp and the Los Angeles Dodgers will face Jarrod Parker, making his major league debut on the mound for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night at Chase Field in Phoenix. Hiroki Kuroda gets the start for the Dodgers.
Kemp leads the National League with 38 home runs and 123 RBI, looking to become the first Dodger to lead the league in both categories since Dolph Camilli for the pennant-winning 1941 Brooklyn squad. Kemp has a one home run lead over Albert Pujols, whose St. Louis Cardinals are in Texas facing Henry Sosa and the Houston Astros.
The long odds for Kemp come in batting average, as Kemp's .324 mark is third in the NL, but trails Jose Reyes of the New York Mets and Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers by 10 points:
Reyes (177 for 530): .333962
Braun (186 for 557): .333932
Kemp (192 for 593): .323777
Kemp needs something crazy to happen to win the batting title, such as getting six hits in eight at-bats in the next two days, which would put him at .32945, and for Reyes and Braun to each go 0 for 8 (Braun would be at .32920, Reyes at .32900).
But the triple crown is not all on Kemp's plate, as he is also just two home runs shy of becoming the fifth member of the 40/40 club. Kemp is currently tied with Drew Stubbs of the Cincinnati Reds for second place in the league with 40 stolen bases. If Kemp can keep his current place, he would become the first player to finish in the top two in the league in both homers and steals since Hank Aaron in 1963.
Tuesday's 6:40 p.m. PDT game will be televised by KCAL. For all things Dodgers, like a fond remembrance of Kuroda's four years (and counting?) in Los Angeles, be sure to read True Blue LA.