|Beast mode don't care. #BMDC|
In what might have been one of the best April baseball games in recent memory, Kemp upstaged the Nationals' Stephen Strasburg, perhaps one of the best pitchers in baseball, and Bryce Harper, who was making his Major League debut, by smacking a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Dodgers a 4-3 win.
It was a fantastic game all the way around, as the Dodgers got a great start from Chad Billingsley -- at least numbers-wise: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R (earned), 2 BB, 6 K.
But Billingsley, whose velocity was there all night (touched 95 MPH a couple times), was all over the place with his pitches -- especially his fastball. At one point, he had thrown 77 percent of his pitches as fastballs, but he was missing up in the zone a lot.
It was evident in the seventh inning when Adam LaRoche (Billingsley and Dodger killer) roped a solo home run into the right field seats on a 91 MPH fastball up and over the plate.
The Dodgers fought back to tie the game in the bottom half of the inning on an A.J. Ellis RBI single.
Scott Elbert started the ninth inning by giving up a single to LaRoche. He then got Rick Ankiel to bunt into a fielder's choice. With Harper on deck and Danny Espinosa (switch-hitter) due up, Don Mattingly elected to go with the struggling Javy Guerra, who promptly allowed the inherited runner to score, as well as one of his own.
It was a wild bottom of the ninth, which culminated with a wild pitch that allowed the Dodgers to score the tying run.
Jamey Wright, of all people, pitched a perfect 10th inning. This is where Mr. Kemp steps in.
He was due to lead off against Tom Gorzelanny. Gorzelanny relieved Nationals' closer Henry Rodriguez in the ninth inning and got Tony Gwynn to line out to LaRoche.
With Andre Ethier (0-for-4, 3 Ks) on deck, Nationals' manager Davey Johnson elected to keep Gorzelanny in the game.
He got ahead of Kemp 1-2 and it looked like Johnson would be off the hook. Then, this happened:
Better watch this quick, as I'm sure MLB will have it taken down quite soon.
This post could easily have just read, "Matt Kemp," but I figured I should give the readers some context.
So, Kemp is amazing. That's about it.
Photo credit: SD Dirk, Flickr