A day after striking out four times, Matt Kemp was dropped to the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ lineup.
Kemp understood Manager Don Mattingly’s decision.
“He’s got to do what he’s got to do,” Kemp said. “I don’t disagree with him for moving me down. I’ve been giving away a lot of at-bats. I really haven’t been helping my team too much.”
This will mark the first time Kemp has hit anywhere other than third or fourth since Sept. 27, 2010.
“I can’t be mad at him for moving me to fifth,” Kemp said. “Fifth ain’t bad. There are some RBIs in the five hole too.”
Mattingly said he was hoping to take pressure off Kemp.
Adrian Gonzalez will bat third and Andre Ethier fourth.
“Hopefully, I can get it going in the five hole,” Kemp said. “Shoot, I’ll try any hole – one hole, two hole, three hole, five hole, six hole, seven hole, eight hole, nine hole.”
Mattingly said he also envisions batting Kemp second or fifth, depending on the matchup.
Kemp’s sense of humor appeared to still be intact, as he cracked several jokes about his inability to hit.
“I can’t let this get me down,” Kemp said. “Baseball is not an easy sport. I think we’ve all struggled. I’ve had some conversations with some future Hall of Fame baseball players and they’ve been through the same things I’m going through at this moment. All of them told me the same thing: that I can hit and you have to believe you can hit and it will come back.”