Kemp reaches 30/30 club, shoots for 40/40

Matt Kemp knew the answer, but he asked reporters anyway. "Has anyone here ever done it?" "It" is a 40-homer, 40-steal season, and Kemp was asking whether any Dodger had accomplished the feat. The answer is no. Raul Mondesi went 30/30 twice. But no Dodger has done 40/40. Only four players on any team have ever done 40/40.

"I'm just happy I got to do it here in L.A.," Kemp said. "The fans have always supported me. We still got a month to go, so I'm going to keep going."

Raul Mondesi was the only Dodgers member of the 30/30 fraternity and he reached the heights twice, in 1997 and 1999. Kemp already belonged to an exclusive Dodgers group who have hit 20 or more home runs and have stolen 20 or more bases in the same season.

Kemp was the second youngest member of the club at 24. Willie Davis earned entrance in 1962 at age 22 and came close a second time 10 years later, posting a 19-20 mark. Davey Lopes joined at age 35, making him the oldest of the Dodgers crew.

Only six Dodgers in history have reached the 20-20 mark, including Pedro Guerrero twice (1982-83). Kirk Gibson (1988), Davey Lopes (1979), Willie Davis (1962) and Babe Herman (1929) all have on entry on the chart. Babe Herman is the only Brooklyn player to reach the totals.

A number of players have come within a couple home runs or a couple stolen bases. They include Herman in 1930 (35-18), Jackie Robinson in 1952 (19-24), Tommy Davis in 1962 (27-18), Jimmy Wynn in 1974 (32-18), Russell Martin as a rookie in 2007 (19-21) and Kemp in 2008 (18-35).

Shawn Green was a 35-35 man for Toronto in 1998. Gary Sheffield eclipsed the 20-20 mark in 1998 but his 22 home runs and 22 stolen bases total include both Florida and Los Angeles figures. Sheffield had 16 HR and 18 SB as a Dodger that season.

The complete list:

  30 HR & 30 SB— 	HR SB
Raul Mondesi, 1997 	30  32
Raul Mondesi, 1999 	33  36    

  20 HR & 20 SB— 	HR  SB
Babe Herman, 1929 	21  21
Willie Davis, 1962 	21  32
Davey Lopes, 1979 	28  44
Pedro Guerrero, 1982 	32  22
Pedro Guerrero, 1983 	32  23
Kirk Gibson, 1988 	25  31
Raul Mondesi, 1995 	26  27
Shawn Green, 2000 	24  24
Shawn Green, 2001 	49  20
Matt Kemp, 2009 	26  34
A month might remain, but a 40/40 season won't be easy for Kemp. He needs six steals and nine home runs in the final 30 games, after hitting a walk-off home run on Saturday (his third this year) and swiping another base in Sunday's 7-6 loss to the Rockies.

"I can hit 10 in a month," Kemp said. "That would be pretty special. If I do it, it means I'm helping my club win."

Kemp tied for 11th fastest to reach 30/30, doing it his team's 130th game. Fastest was Eric Davis in 105 games, and Davis finished with 37 homers and 50 steals.

When Barry Bonds achieved his only 40/40 season in 1996, he didn't reach 30/30 until game number 149. Bonds went on a legendary run the final two weeks, stealing 11 bases in his last 12 games to finish with an even 40.

Kemp made the 40/40 Club his goal last year, in the final week of a disappointing season that saw him hit 28 homers and steal 19 bases, but get thrown out 15 times, strike out 170 times, and bat .249. Another goal wasn't statistical.

"To have more fun," Kemp said. "It's a kid's game. Just relax and let it come to me."

Kemp didn't miss a walk-off homer by much in the ninth inning Saturday, then went over the right-center field wall off Jason Hammel to win the game two innings later.

Teammate Andre Ethier hit four walk-off home runs in 2009, and six walk-off hits total that year. If Kemp hits another walk-off homer, he would tie Ethier, Roy Sievers (1957) and Jimmy Foxx (1940) for most in a season.

"It's unbelievable," said Dodgers first baseman James Loney, who tied the game with a solo homer in the ninth. "He's worked extremely hard for this. With the talent and drive he has ... it's not even September yet. Let's see where he ends up."

Whether he wins the Most Valuable Player award remains to be seen, and will be decided in the final month of games. But the respect from opposing teams is enormous.

"He's the best player we face," Rockies left fielder Seth Smith said. "He's got five tools and he brings them all every day."

Scully Reups For Another Year
In a season in which not a lot of things have went right for the Dodgers, everything went right Friday night. Hall of Fame announcer Vin Scully announced, on the air, that he was returning for an unprecedented 63rd season calling the team's games.

Scully did it in typically understated fashion. There was no warning it was coming.

"I don't want to make a big deal out of it, you and I have been friends for a long time," Scully told the television audience, after coming back from a commercial break. "But after a lot of soul searching and a few prayers, we've decided that we will come back with the Dodgers for next year. God's been awfully good to me, allowing me to do the things I love to do. I asked him (for) one more year at least and he said okay."

Scully was embarrassed by the attention a year ago, when he told a newspaper columnist there would be an announcement the next day, and the City of Angels spent an anxious night wondering if Scully was going to retire.

When he saw the number of reporters waiting for him the next day, Scully sighed at the unwanted attention.

Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has told Scully that he's got essentially a lifetime contract to broadcast the games. It's been Scully's decision to work on a series of one-year contracts in recent years because he wants to make sure his health is fine, and he always worries about his wife being alone when he's on the road.

As Scully loves to say, "if you want to make God smile, tell him your plans for the future."

After the game, Scully briefly chatted with reporters in an elevator as he headed to the parking lot.

"My barometer has always been goosebumps," Scully said. "When somebody makes a good play, like (Kevin) Kouzmanoff made a couple good plays (Friday). Even in the heat, I got goosebumps, thrills, over the play. It's a meaningless game, but it still thrilled me. I thought, 'wow, it's still there.' I don't know why it's still there. Most people would have said, 'it's enough.' But OK, as long as it's still there, we'll keep going."

--RF Andre Ethier caused a storm by insinuating to a Los Angeles Times columnist that he's hurt, but the Dodgers are forcing him to play. Manager Don Mattingly said he was "blindsided" by the story and talked to Ethier at length Sunday morning. Ethier didn't start Sunday, so head physician Neal ElAttrache could examine his knee, which will likely require an offseason cleanup. Ethier's talked his way into the lineup in recent games, when Mattingly planned on giving him a day off, and he ran through the stop sign Friday night of third-base coach Tim Wallach trying to score on a flyball to shallow center. Ethier backed off the comments Sunday, admitting he's never told the team he can't play and was forced to play. Ethier nearly pinch-hit in the sixth inning, and was in the on-deck circle when the game ended.

--RHP Nathan Eovaldi, who allowed five runs in his first four starts, allowed five runs in the first inning Sunday. He lasted another three scoreless innings before departing the game, in one of his final starts of the season. Eovaldi will be moved to the bullpen soon, to limit his innings, but the Dodgers aren't saying when -- or who are the candidates to replace him. Whoever the new pitcher, the Dodgers will utilize a six-man rotation for one turn, giving everybody an extra day of rest.

--SS Dee Gordon started a rehab assignment Sunday night for high-A Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.), going 0-for-2 with a walk. Gordon's rehab keeps getting pushed back. The new plan is to play three games, rest Wednesday, then get activated when rosters expand Thursday.

--OF Tony Gwynn tripled for the sixth time this year in the first inning. Gwynn leads the team in triples and has matched his career high from 2009. He went 2-for-4 on the afternoon.

--INF/OF Eugenio Velez pinch-hit in the sixth inning, with the bases loaded and no one out. He grounded into a fielder's choice, narrowly avoiding a double play, and picked up his first RBI of the year. He's now 0-for-28 to start his Dodgers career.

--Former Dodger Fernando Valenzuela called the Seguro Social Little League team of Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico before their International Championship game against Japan. The players and coaches crowded around a speakerphone, listened to Valenzuela and asked him questions. Valenzuela watched their games intently, and was impressed with the velocity of the pitchers.

--RHP Kenley Jansen was activated from the disabled list, and pitched a clean eighth inning. He didn't strike out a batter, but broke two bats in the inning.

--INF Russ Mitchell, a call-up last September and briefly this year, will add catching to his versatility this offseason. Mitchell will go to instructional league, and later do some catching in winter ball as well. This isn't likely a full position switch for Mitchell, it's more to increase his versatility. Mitchell is having another solid season at Class AAA Albuquerque, posting a .278/.368/.495 in 317 at-bats. But in the majors, his career slash line is .132/.198/.279 in 74 plate appearances.

-- Consecutive seasons Jaime Jarrin will have announced Dodgers games on Spanish language radio, when Jarrin returns next season. Jarrin met with Dodgers owner Frank McCourt before Sunday's game and was invited back in 2012. Jarrin, a Hall of Famer since winning the Frick Award in 1998, took an in-season vacation for the first time this year and will likely do it again next year. But he'll do play-by-play for the overwhelming majority of the 162 games on radio. Vin Scully announced Friday he would return for his 63rd season in 2012. Scully does nine innings of television play-by-play, and the first three are simulcast on radio.

-- Number of consecutive solo home runs given up by Ted Lilly, including a first-inning solo shot by Carlos Gonzalez on Friday night. Lilly has given up 28 homers total, and 21 are solo. That home run was the only run Lilly allowed in seven innings, and he picked up his eighth victory of the season after the Dodgers scored six runs in the bottom of the seventh.

"I was a little taken back. I talked to 'Dre about it to see if he felt that the way (the article) came out was accurate. The way I read it, Dre's been telling us he can't play and we're telling him, 'you're playing anyway.' That's definitely not the case. To me, that takes a shot at my integrity, the organization, the training staff, Ned (Colletti), and then it gets back to me personally that I'd put a guy out there who is hurt. I would never do that. I told 'Dre that. That's not in my DNA. I'd never send a guy on the field. I'd rather lose my job than put a guy out there with a chance to hurt himself in a long-term way. There's been many conversations. We know he's been banged up. He's had little stuff going on. I check with them, 'are you OK?' There's been times, not too long ago, I saw in the weight room and told him, 'I'm going to give you tomorrow off.' He came back into my office and said, 'No, I want to go.'" -- Manager Don Mattingly, responding to the article in Sunday's Los Angeles Times about a knee injury that Ethier said is the reason for a slump that left him 6-for-52 (.115) since Aug. 9.

"It's special. It's special me to me. Some of my family and friends are here. I'm happy that I got to do it in L.A. with the fans who have always supported me. There's still a long ways to go. Still another month of baseball and I'll try to add onto that." -- Center fielder Matt Kemp, after becoming the 55th player in baseball history to reach 30 homers and 30 steals in a season. Kemp has 32 games remaining to hit 10 home runs and steal seven bases to become the fifth member of the "40/40" Club.

--RF Andre Ethier (sore right knee) did not play in the Aug. 28 game, a day after he caused a storm by insinuating to a Los Angeles Times columnist that he was hurt, but the Dodgers were forcing him to play. Manager Don Mattingly said he was "blindsided" by the story and talked to Ethier at length Sunday morning. Head physician Neal ElAttrache was scheduled on Aug. 28 to examine Ethier's knee, which will likely require an offseason cleanup. Ethier backed off the comments, admitting he's never told the team he can't play and was forced to play. Ethier nearly pinch-hit in the sixth inning, and he was in the on-deck circle when the game ended.

--SS Dee Gordon (bruised right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 10. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Aug. 28, and he is expected to be activated when rosters expand Sept. 1.

--INF Juan Uribe (abdominal strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 24 with what originally was called a left hip strain. Uribe was taking batting practice every day in mid-August, but he hadn't improved enough to be able to run the bases. He got a cortisone shot to numb his left hip. With rehab games still needed, he won't return until rosters expand in September.

--RHP Jonathan Broxton (bone bruise on right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 4. He threw a bullpen session June 7. He made rehab appearances on June 21 and 23 for Class AAA Albuquerque, but he felt tightness in his elbow when playing catch June 25, and he was shut down from throwing. He was cleared to begin a throwing program in early August, and he might be able to return in early September.

--RHP Rubby De La Rosa (sprained ulnar collateral ligament in right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 1. He underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery Aug. 9.

--RHP Vicente Padilla (right radial nerve irritation, sore neck) went on the 15-day disabled list May 14 due to the arm injury. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on May 29, but he was shut down in early June due to a neck ailment. He underwent neck surgery June 16, and he likely will miss the rest of the season.

--RHP Jon Garland (right shoulder inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 2. He played catch June 21 but had to shut it down quickly. He underwent season-ending surgery during the All-Star break and began his rehab.

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories