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Matt Kemp is really fighting it

Aug 21, 2012, 8:22 AM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers v Atlanta Braves Getty Images

It’s no shame to go hitless against Madison Bumgarner on a night like he had last night. And slumps certainly happen. But Matt Kemp is in a pronounced slump right now, and with the Dodgers sliding out of first place after last night’s loss to San Francisco, they need him to figure it out.

Kemp is 0 for his last 19 and his OPS has dipped below 1.000 for the first time since the fifth game of the season. Last night he struck out with a runner on third in the sixth inning — Shane Victorino got there by stealing both second and third — to end what amounted to the Dodgers best scoring threat. Kemp was clearly frustrated at the strikeout, feigning throwing his bat and then starting to break it over his knee but thinking better of it.

Kemp is obviously still having a great year — he’s hitting .333/.402/.596 — but the Dodgers are going to need him to heat back up if they want to keep pace with the Giants.

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