<
>

A hurting Matt Kemp won't make excuses

LOS ANGELES -- Matt Kemp is hurt. How much only he knows. How much his assortment of injuries -- right now his injured left shoulder is of greatest concern -- is affecting his play, we'll never know. The only thing certain is that he hates talking about it.

But after going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants that eliminated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the chase for the second wild-card berth, Kemp finally let on a little bit about how hurt he is right now.

"I think being healthy is always a key," Kemp said. "At this point everybody plays and they're not at 100 percent. You can't make excuses on being hurt. If you're out there you've got to get the job done."

Asked when the last time he has taken a swing and not felt pain in his shoulder, Kemp laughed and said, "Who knows? I don't know. No excuses man."

Kemp missed 57 games this year because of hamstring and shoulder injuries.

"I saw some number where I think we lost 26 one-run games," Kemp said. "I probably could've drove in some runs in those 26 one-run games. But you can't really look at it that way. People get hurt, you just kind of have to figure ways to win when people are down."

Kemp seemed to have gotten his swing together this last week or so, batting .393 with four home runs and nine RBIs in his previous seven games. But on Tuesday, he came up empty in two key situations -- grounding out with runners at second and third in the fifth inning, then striking out with the tying run at third in the seventh inning.

"I was very frustrated," Kemp said. "I left a runner on second and third with two outs and then [Shane] Victorino in my last at-bat, I left him out there stranded. It's kind of going to stick with me for a while. It hurts. I just didn't do my job tonight. I came up short. It's my fault."