04/17/12 8:07 PM ET
Kemp piling up watches from POW awards
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
With each award comes another watch, and Kemp just became the first player to win three in a row (dating back to the final week of last season) and the first National League player to open a season with two of them.
"I forgot I got it the last week of last season until somebody tweeted it," Kemp said.
Kemp, who hit .545 with four homers last week, entered play Tuesday leading the Major Leagues in average (.487), runs (13), hits (19), home runs (six), RBIs (16), on-base percentage (.523), slugging percentage (1.026) and total bases (40).
"I'm feeling really good," he said. "I'm just being patient. I'm studying video to see what everybody is trying to do, finding a pitch and hitting it hard and driving it. I'm not trying to hit home runs, just put the bat on the ball and let my strength take over. I used to be that guy going to the plate trying to hit home runs, but the result was never that good. Now, whatever happens, happens."
Kemp seems amused that his 50/50 prediction from Spring Training still has legs in the media, although he hasn't backed down from it.
"I'd be happy if I don't get 50/50 and we get in the playoffs," he said. "But anything's possible."
Playing through helps Ellis start triple play
MILWAUKEE -- Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said he never heard a verbal foul-ball call from home-plate umpire Dale Scott at the start of what became the first triple-play turned by the Dodgers since 1998 on Sunday.
Replays show Scott at first put his hands up as if he was backing away, then appeared to put his hands higher in the air as if to signal foul ball on the bunt by Jesus Guzman that landed in foul ground before rolling into fair ground.
Scott did clearly signal the ball fair when Ellis picked it up and threw to third base to begin the around-the-horn inning-killer.
Ellis said the batter, Guzman, initially claimed that the ball hit him, but the argument by the Padres quickly changed to the hand signals Scott gave. Padres manager Bud Black was ejected for arguing and the Dodgers won the game in the ninth inning on an RBI single by Dee Gordon.
"I could see their point," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "It looked like he was backing off, then his hands went higher and you could see the argument. But at the end of the day, it's a fair ball, and we'd have been penalized if they had called it foul."
Mattingly fine with Gordon learning on the job
MILWAUKEE -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that leadoff hitter Dee Gordon's .273 on-base percentage is something he's "prepared to live with" as Gordon learns on the job.
"You can't sit there and say, 'Just change it right now,'" Mattingly said. "He's taking the 3-1 and 2-0 pitches he needs to take. If he gains an inch a day, by the end of the year he's gained a lot.
"I'm not expecting him to be like Rickey Henderson in the leadoff spot. He is dynamic. He pulled a [Rafael] Furcal [slap bunt single] out of the bag the other day, and it was nice to see that one."
Gordon, despite a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday, came into Tuesday's game batting .200 with 10 strikeouts in 40 at-bats.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.