Matt Kemp: LA Dodgers Place Star OF on DL, Consecutive Games Streak Ends at 399

Michael Nargi@NargOnSportsSenior Analyst IMay 15, 2012

The Los Angeles Dodgers had hoped that Matt Kemp would only miss a game or two after re-aggravating his left hamstring strain over the weekend. There were even thoughts that Kemp would be used as a pinch hitter on Monday night versus the NL West rival Arizona Diamondbacks to keep his consecutive games played streak alive.

Kemp will miss more than a couple of games, and his consecutive games played streak has ended at 399, which was the longest active streak in the game.

According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Matt Kemp was placed on the disabled list, and Jerry Sands was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque to take Kemp's roster spot.

In addition, Tony Gwynn Jr. will likely see more playing time in center field with Kemp out.

The Dodgers made the right move by placing Kemp on the DL in hopes of allowing the hamstring injury to heal properly, as this is the second time this season that he has been bothered by the injury.

He was scratched from the lineup on May 6 but entered the game as a pinch hitter.

The injury was clearly affecting Kemp's swing and game, as he had been hitless in his last four games and had not hit a home run in the month of May.

Although Kemp has been slumping, he is still hitting .359 with 12 home runs, 28 RBI and 29 runs.

The Dodgers have the best record in all of the MLB at 24-11 and will fortunately have some breathing room while their biggest bat is out of the lineup.

The injury is undoubtedly still a tremendous blow to the team, however, and a huge blow to Kemp's pursuit of the Triple Crown.

It will be nearly impossible for Kemp to make up for the time lost on the DL, considering he trails teammate Andre Ethier by five RBI and Carlos Beltran by four RBI as of this writing.

Despite the setback, Kemp has already contributed greatly to this team's red-hot, and surprising, start to the 2012 season, and the time off will finally allow him get back to full strength and pick up right where he left off.

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