Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 4/16/12
Matt Kemp finished second in the National League Most Valuable Player Award balloting in 2011, and the way he has started 2012 makes it seem like there could be no other choice for the award this season. Through 10 games, Kemp is hitting .487 (19-for-39) with a major league leading six home runs, 16 RBI, and 12 runs scored. His slugging percentage is so high (1.026) that he singled on Sunday and his slugging percentage went down. "Right now, he's just a beast," said manager Don Mattingly. "I still feel like he's getting better, and that's kind of scary for a lot of people. As he gets the strike zone, and gets the feel, and keeps consistently doing what he's doing, the sky is the limit for him." Kemp joined Don Demeter (1959) and Wally Moon (1961) as the only Los Angeles Dodgers to hit six home runs in the team's first 10 games. Kemp hears chants of "M-V-P" from his home crowd and occasionally on the road, like the first weekend of the season at Petco Park in San Diego. "I always get chills. When you hear the crowd going crazy, there's no better feeling," Kemp said. His teammate Clayton Kershaw might have said it best about Kemp. "He's the best player in baseball, and probably the world right now," Kershaw said. "It's pretty ridiculous." NOTES, QUOTES Kemp homers in third straight game --CF Matt Kemp homered in his third consecutive game on Sunday, giving him an astonishing six home runs and 16 RBI through just 10 games. Kemp joined Don Demeter (1959) and Wally Moon (1961) as the only Los Angeles Dodgers to hit six home runs in the team's first 10 games. --RHP Todd Coffey was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with right knee inflammation, to make room on the active roster for LHP Ted Lilly, who pitched seven strong innings in his 2012 debut. "It's definitely a situation where if this were later in the season and it had to be pushed through, it's no problem," Coffey said. "It seems kind of silly right now to man up and push through something that we can get completely knocked out and ready to go 100 percent." --C A.J. Ellis began a bizarre 2-5-6-3 triple play on Sunday by fielding a bunt from Padres cleanup hitter Jesus Guzman that somehow trickled fair, and the Padres' runners froze as the ball was thrown around the infield for all three outs. It was the first triple play turned by the Dodgers since June 13, 1998. --Dodgers announcer Vin Scully returned to the booth on Sunday after missing five games with a bad cold. Scully missed just his second home opener in 63 years, but he was happy to return Sunday. "In my own private little world, this is my opening day. I have (Clayton) Kershaw. Ain't no bad crowd to hang around with," Scully said. --The Dodgers have beaten the Padres eight consecutive times at Dodger Stadium, dating back to 2011. --The 9-1 start by the Dodgers is their best start to a season since beginning the 1981 campaign with the same record. The Dodgers went on to win the World Series in 1981. --All of Major League Baseball celebrated Jackie Robinson Day on Sunday, honoring the 65th anniversary of the Dodgers Hall of Famer breaking baseball's color barrier. At Dodger Stadium, former Dodgers Don Newcombe and Tommy Davis threw out ceremonial first pitches. "He was the trailblazer and this was the team," said manager Don Mattingly said of Robinson. "Obviously he's honored throughout baseball, but being in our organization it's different." BY THE NUMBERS: 6 -- Wins for the Dodgers during their six-game homestand against the Pirates and Padres, the first time the Dodgers have swept a homestand since beating the Giants and Rockies in six games from April 13-19, 2009. QUOTE TO NOTE: "He's the best player in baseball, and probably the world right now. It's pretty ridiculous." -- LHP Clayton Kershaw, on teammate CF Matt Kemp, who opened his season with 19 hits and six home runs in 39 at-bats through 10 games.
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