Found April 17, 2012 on
Fox Sports West:
The Dodgers are the talk of baseball with their 9-1 start, the best record in Major League Baseball and their best start in 31 seasons.
The Dodgers beat up on the Padres (6-1 in seven games) and Pirates (three-game sweep at Dodger Stadium), two teams that combined for only a .441 winning percentage last season.
But manager Don Mattingly doesn't look at last year's records.
"Early in the year, it's tough to win games because it doesn't matter what people think you're supposed to be," Mattingly said. "Last year, the Diamondbacks, who were in last place the year before, they win the division.
"The year before that the Padres, nobody counted on them and they were in it until the last day."
The Dodgers hope for a similar turnaround after a mediocre 162-161 record over the last two seasons. But their early success can be traced to 2011 as well.
The Dodgers were 12 games under .500 as late as last Aug. 21, but won 25 of their final 35 games to end their year on a high note. Couple that with their hot start to 2012 and the Dodgers are 34-11 in their last 45 games.
Matt Kemp, the driving force behind the hot start, hitting .487 with six home runs and 16 RBI through 10 games, sees the current trend continuing.
"This whole year, we're going to be hard to beat," Kemp said. "It doesn't matter who we're playing."
The Dodgers face a test this week with a trip to Milwaukee to battle the Brewers, a playoff team last year, but then also travel to Houston to play the lowly Astros, so perhaps the hot start can be extended a bit further.
The last time the Dodgers started start 9-1 was in 1981, and that team ended up winning the World Series. While it is too early to tell if the same future in is store for the 2012 Dodgers, their start certainly turned many heads.
Kemp and Ethier have driven Dodgers' early success
--CF Matt Kemp and RF Andre Ethier are both off to hot starts, as each All-Star outfielder has driven in at least one run in eight of their 10 games. Kemp (16 RBI) and Ethier (15 RBI) have the second and third most runs batted in through 10 team games in Dodgers' franchise history, trailing only Roy Campanella, who drove in 17 runs in the first 10 games of the 1953 season.
--SS Dee Gordon had two stolen bases on Sunday, his second multi-steal game of the season. Gordon leads the major leagues with seven stolen bases, and has 31 steals in 66 career games.
--C A.J. Ellis has a .419 on-base percentage, second on the team to CF Matt Kemp among regulars, despite a .217 batting average. Ellis has eight walks in eight games this season, tied for fifth in the major leagues in bases on balls.
--Dodgers starting pitchers through 10 games are 4-1 with a 2.83 ERA, with 62 strikeouts in 57 13 innings.
--The Dodgers are 5-0 in one-run games this season after going 23-21 in such games in 2011.
BY THE NUMBERS: 97 -- The number of home runs CF Matt Kemp is on pace to hit, after hitting six home runs in his first 10 games.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "My gosh. It's their opening game of the season and here they are saluting an announcer. I'm just another guy, the most ordinary person you ever met." -- Dodgers announcer Vin Scully, in his record 63rd season with the club, on seeing the Dodger Stadium crowd salute him while he watched the home opener from home because of a bad cold.
BEST OF MAXIM
MILWAUKEE - When Matt Kemp talks about his sizzling start at the plate this year, he points to the two teammates batting behind him in the Dodgers lineup: Andre Ethier and Juan Rivera.
Before the Dodgers' game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on Tuesday night, Kemp was asked whether pitchers can still throw around him, giving Kemp little to hit and possibly walking...
The morning after his Los Angeles Dodgers lost a game on a disputed play at the plate, manager Don Mattingly made a case for the expanded use of instant replay reviews in baseball.
Mattingly says he would like to see plays at the plate become subject to review, and suggested that it was worth considering the use of instant replay to review any game-ending play. Currently, home runs...
LOS ANGELES Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp has been named National League Player of the Week for the period of April 9-15, 2012. The announcement was made earlier Monday on MLB Network.
Kemp becomes the first player to win back-to-back National League Player of the Week honors to begin a season and the first player to win the award for three consecutive weeks (dating...
The Dodgers are currently the talk of baseball thanks to their 9-1 start. Now they get a chance to walk the talk.
Former Dodger greats Tommie Davis (left) and pitcher Don Newcombe were on hand April 15th to take part in baseball's salute to Jackie Robinson. (LA Times)
Some have questioned how good the Dodgers really are since their 2012 opposition has been limited to the...
Matt Kemp is on fire this season for the Los Angeles Dodgers, helping the team to a 9-1 start and putting him self ahead of his 2011 pace.
Kemp went 3-for-4 with a home run and a RBI in Sundays 5-4 win over the San Diego Padres.
Kemp leads the National League with a .487 batting average and leads the league with 6 home runs and 16 driven in runs.
MILWAUKEE Last season, there was little arguing whether Milwaukee's Ryan Braun or Los Angeles' Matt Kemp deserved NL MVP consideration. Kemp led the NL in home runs (39) and RBI (126) and added 40 stolen bases, while Braun finished just short of him in all three categories and led the league in slugging percentage and OPS.
But with the direction Braun's Brewers were...
After last year's campaign that saw Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers finish just one homer shy of a 40/40 season, Kemp has gotten off to a flying start this year with six homers in his first 11 games. This, of course, is leading to various reporters from major outlets pondering the possibility of Kemp having a 50/50 year. To those reporters, I say...are you kidding me?
Matt Kemp has shown no signs of slowing down from his terrific 2011 season when he hit .324 with 39 homers and 126 RBI. Armed with a .417 batting average coming into last weekend’s games, he powered the Dodgers to a 6-1 victory on Saturday. Kemp’s endeavors are a bit newsworthy considering the wasted big-money deals that litters the Dodgers’ recent history. Look no farther...
This just in...Matt Kemp is a friggin' beast.He should have won the NL MVP last season and he's on his way to making a case for himself again this season. Kemp has hit 6 homeruns 10 through games. That's more than the Phillies, Pirates, Nationals, and Cubs. It ties him with the Reds and Padres. That means he has as many or more homeruns than 1/5 of all MLB teams. Wow...
Every year, some players start hot, others start cold. In the past, when a player had a high BABIP to start the season, we said, “Oh, well he’s lucky. His numbers will come down.” But now we can say with greater certainty, using Fielding Independent wOBA (or FI wOBA), what a player’s wOBA would actually regress to, given their performance in other areas.
(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. With AP Photos.) By BETH HARRIS AP Sports Writer At 9-1, the Los Angeles Dodgers own the top record in the majors and are off to their best start since 1981, when they won their last World Series title. With new ownership and Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier piling up hits, the bad feelings from the Frank McCourt era are beginning to fade.
The Dodgers are off to a tremendous start. Currently at 9-and-1 and with the best record in baseball, media outlets across the land are starting to dub them as the comeback team of year. Matt Kemp, who already put up incredible numbers last season, has shown no signs of coming back down to earth. Kemp has six home runs on the year -- all of which have come against the San Diego...
The season is just a few weeks in but there are already some trends and numbers that should make people take notice.
1. Matt Kemp
My pre-season MVP and 2nd place finisher last year is on fire. He is batting .487 with 6 hr and 16 RBI’s through the Dodgers first ten games. In comparison, the entire Pittsburgh Pirate team has 16 RBI’s and only 4 hrs. Kemp’s fast start has LA...
The Los Angeles Dodgers' third-place finish in the NL West likely played a part in Matt Kemp getting beaten out for the 2011 MVP by Ryan Braun, who led the Milwaukee Brewers to their first division title in nearly three decades.
If there was early voting for the award in 2012, Kemp would be the runaway winner after helping Los Angeles get off to its best start in 31 years.
Albert Pujols is atop the GMs' list of Top 50 Major League Baseball Players. then Matt Kemp, Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander. CineSport's Noah Coslov and Sporting News' Stan McNeal discuss.