08/13/12 7:39 PM ET
Hairston lands on DL as Herrera rejoins Dodgers
By Mark Emery / MLB.com
Kemp, McCutchen at center of their teams' hopes
PITTSBURGH -- This week's four-game series between the Pirates and Dodgers wouldn't mean so much in terms of the National League playoff picture if each team had played this season without its respective center fielder.Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen and Los Angeles' Matt Kemp are both candidates to win the NL MVP once the season ends. Each has five-tool ability, which is used to describe position players who excel in virtually every component of the game. "They're kind of two guys that do it all," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "They run, they hit for power, they play good center field, they hit for average. Pretty much the same guy." As far as Mattingly is concerned, the only thing that differentiates the two players is that they have different body types. Listed at 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds, McCutchen is smaller than Kemp, who is 6-foot-4 and weighs 225 pounds. While Kemp has missed a significant amount of time with a strained left hamstring, McCutchen has been practically injury free, managing to lead the league with a .362 average while picking up 23 homers and 71 RBIs in 110 games. In just 63 games, Kemp is batting .356 with 17 home runs and 46 RBIs. Entering Monday, the Pirates had a 2 1/2-game lead over the Dodgers for the second NL Wild Card spot.
Dodgers feeling good after Hanley's big series
PITTSBURGH -- In his first trip to Miami since the Marlins traded him to the Dodgers, Hanley Ramirez put on a show.The shortstop went 6-for-13 with a double and five RBIs during the three-game series. With the way he was swinging the bat, though, Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said he easily could have had 10 hits. "He was great," Mattingly said. "He probably hit just about every ball on the nose. "He was really good. That was the best I've seen Hanley." Before the Dodgers acquired him on July 25, Ramirez had played for the Marlins since 2006, when he was named the National League Rookie of the Year. He was also a three-time All-Star in Miami, having led baseball with 125 runs in 2008, a year before leading the NL with a .342 average. In 17 games with the Dodgers, Ramirez has hit .288 with a home run and 18 RBIs. "What we've seen in Miami is what we've been seeing more and more of, is that this guy has a tremendous amount of talent," Mattingly said. "If he goes like that, we're a lot different club."
Andre Ethier entered Monday ranked ninth in the National League in doubles with 29. One more will give him six seasons with at least 30 doubles, tying him with Steve Garvey, Jackie Robinson, Dixie Walker and Zack Wheat for the most seasons with 30-plus doubles in Dodgers history. Ramirez recorded his 500th RBI in Sunday's win over the Marlins. His next home run will give him 150 in his career.
Mark Emery is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.