Kemp Was Out Of Shape With Padres, Braves

"He came as close to legally stealing money as you can," Scott Miller said

July 10, 2018 - 9:46 am

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Bleacher Report MLB analyst Scott Miller dropped by CBS Sports Radio to discuss numerous topics, including the Dodgers, Mets and Yankees.

We’ll start with the Dodgers, as Clayton Kershaw pitched L.A. to an 8-2 win over the Padres on Monday. Kershaw threw six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and striking out five.

Impressive performance, no?

“Kershaw, it’s hard to say. The Padres are so bad that it’s not a completely good barometer of Clayton Kershaw’s health,” Miller said on Ferrall on the Bench. “But he looks like he’s pitching his way back into form. I don’t know if we’re ever going to see peak Clayton Kershaw like we did a few years back. This is a couple bouts he’s had with a sore back and he has a biceps injury. But I think even if Clayton Kershaw is 80 percent of what he once was, that’s still better than a lot of other pitchers.”

Matt Kemp had a walk and an RBI in the win and is now hitting .316 with 15 homers and 58 RBIs on the season. The 33-year-old has performed well in his return to L.A.

“This guy, it basically comes down to his desire and his attitude,” Miller said. “His bat’s quickened up and his game’s gotten better this year – and it traces back to the fact that he lost at least 40 pounds going into the season. You look at that, I don’t know how a professional athlete gets to the point where you’ve got 40 pounds to lose. I think his time with San Diego and Atlanta, based on what we’re seeing, I think he came as close to legally stealing money as you can. How else do you want to say it? He finally goes back to Los Angeles with wounded pride and it’s, ‘Oh, well, people think I’m done, my pride’s hurt, I’m going to get myself back in shape.’ And he did. And he’s become an All-Star again.”

While the Dodgers (49-41) have won 33 of their last 48 games, the Mets (36-52) have lost 50 of their last 74 following a 12-2 start.

“I think they ought to trade Jacob deGrom,” Miller said. “I think it’s time the Mets blow everything up and hit the reset button. Jacob deGrom has two years left of club control, he’s pitching as well as he’s ever pitched. This is a guy where they could get a Herschel Walker-type of return for him.”

In the AL, meanwhile, the Yankees (59-30) are reportedly interested in acquiring Manny Machado, but Miller isn’t buying it.

“I think it’s the Orioles driving up the price,” he said. “I find it hard to believe, even with all the Yankees' resources and money, they’ve got a really good thing going. I know they’re in a battle with Boston for first place in that division. They’re both going to be in the playoffs. The Yankees are built to rock for the next several years. They need pitching. They need starting pitching. They do not need another bat in a lineup that is going to smash the 1997 Seattle Mariners’ record of 264 homers in a season. The Yankees are on pace to blow that record out of the water. It’s all about pitching in October. It’s going to be about pitching in the second half of the season. If I’m the Yankees, to me, that’s the Orioles driving up the price. I think the Yankees had better go out and get another starting pitcher and boost their staff.”