Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 5/15/12
LOS ANGELES With baseball's best record at 24-11,the Dodgers have met every challenge this season, on and off the field.Especially when it comes to injuries. Whether it's Juan Rivera, Javy Guerra, Jerry Hairston or Juan Uribe gettinghurt, the Dodgers have called on Bobby Abreu, Kenley Jansen, Adam Kennedy andothers to fill the voids. They've done well, as the Dodgers have steadilyimproved their win-loss mark. Now, though, the National League West Division leaders are contending with theworst-case scenario: Matt Kemp going on the disabled list. After avoiding an announcement prior to Mondays game, when it was announced thatKemp had a "strained hamstring" and was considered day to day, the Dodgersdecided to DL their MVP, ending the risk of any further damage to his lefthammy. The DL move was made official after a 3-1 victory over the ArizonaDiamondbacks. "We're going to DL Matty and bring up Jerry Sands," manager DonMattingly said after the two-run victory. "We pretty much knew before thegame, but didn't want to announce it. "We just feel like it's the right thing to do. We found out that Mattwasn't going to give us the whole truth and nothing but the truth with the(condition of) the hamstring, and we had to, in a sense, protect him fromhimself. "He wants to keep playing and that's what we like. He wants to be outthere and doesn't want to miss (any playing time.) But in the same breath,we're going OK and we have to make sure this thing doesn't turn into (a) long-term(situation). That's what the doctors talked to Matt about before the game, thatwe've got to get (the hamstring) healthy and healed up and not have to ... dealwith this all year long." By sitting out against Arizona, Kemp saw his major league-leading streak of 399consecutive games played end, last missing a game on Aug. 18, 2009. It's only Kempssecond trip to the disabled list. He was off to a brilliant start, hitting .359 with 12 homers, 28 RBI, a .446 OBP,a 1.173 OPS and a slugging percentage of .726. He's leading the NL in slugging,and is in the top five of all the other categories.His loss can't be described as anything but huge, anddespite his proclamation Sunday that he absolutely "would not got on thedisabled list," that's exactly where he'll spend the next two weeks.According to Mattingly, Kemp handled the decision well. "He was OK when he came to the realization ... about long-termhealth," Mattingly said. "He felt he was getting better after (wecame back from) Chicago. He was able to run a little bit better. Then, when heturned it loose, he'd done (more damage).It's a mild strain, but the doc told him that if he injuresit again, then it becomes four weeks (on the DL). We have a chance to get ithealthy and make sure he doesn't have any long-term effects. "It's the right thing." Sands, thought to be a lock to make the team until an abysmal spring training,will likely get some playing time along with Tony Gwynn Jr.. With the Triple-AAlbuquerque Isotopes, Sands hit seven home runs, and led the team with 28 RBIand 27 runs. He's defensively versatile, able to play the outfield and firstbase. The man the Dodgers will be looking toward to help make up for Kemp's absenceis Andre Ethier, who's having an excellent start himself, leading the NL with33 RBI to go with eight homers and a .308 batting average. "I'm pretty sure our offense can find some way to keep it going,"said Ethier, who homered off D-Backs starter Ian Kennedy in Mondays win."(Losing Matt) is a big hole to fill, but we'll patch it up and keep ourlead or hopefully increase it." Reigning Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw echoed Ethier's sentiments. "Everybody's going to have to pick it up, said Kershaw, who won his thirdgame on Monday in four decisions. "Matty's our guy, and Dre is going tohave to be huge for us and the other guys are going to have to do their parts. "You can't replace him. Hopefully it's just a two week-thing. We can playsome good baseball and get him back, ready to go." NOTES: Earlier in the day, the Dodgers put third baseman Uribe on the DLwith a left wrist injury. They purchased the contract of Elian Herrera fromAlbuquerque. He was hitting .358 on the season and .404 in May. It was thefifth consecutive win for the Dodgers and the third loss in a row for 15-21Arizona. Kershaw and Kennedy (3-3) both threw brushback pitches at eachother, the bad blood spilling over from last season when Kershaw hit GerardoParra following a slow run from the batter's box after hitting a homer thenight before against former Dodger Hong-Chih Kuo. "I guess that's Gibby(Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson) type of baseball, but there's no place forthat," Kershaw said when asked about being thrown at by Kennedy.
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