Kemp to miss final games with finger injury
Padres right fielder diagnosed with strained and partially torn tendon
SAN DIEGO -- He didn't know it at the time, but Matt Kemp made his last swing of the season for the Padres mean something.
Kemp knocked in his 100th run of the season Tuesday against the Brewers, but later in the game left with soreness in his right hand. A day later, the Padres shut him down with a strained and partially torn tendon of the right middle finger.
Kemp, who is in his first season with the Padres, won't play in the final four games of the regular season, including the final three games at Kemp's former stomping grounds, Dodger Stadium.
Kemp had an MRI and was looked at by two doctors who determined he shouldn't play again this season. San Diego interim manager Pat Murphy said the injury will likely need four to six weeks to heal and won't require surgery at this time.
Murphy, who was hired in mid-June after manager Bud Black was dismissed, was impressed with the way Kemp played in the second half, knocking in 53 of his 100 runs.
"I wasn't here in the beginning … so I didn't know about his struggles but the guy plays hard and plays every day and he's interested in winning -- that bodes well for the future of the Padres," Murphy said.
Kemp wasn't available before the Padres faced the Brewers at Petco Park Wednesday, though he said late Tuesday that he would have gladly given back some of those RBIs for a shot at the postseason.
"It's a step forward. I guess it's always good to drive in 100 [runs], but I'd rather have 80 RBIs and go to the playoffs. Hopefully, it's a step forward going into next year and we can win more games," Kemp said.
Kemp was the cornerstone of a five-player deal with the Dodgers in December. He hit .250 with eight home runs and 47 RBIs during the first half, though he didn't hit his second home run until June 6.
The second half was a different story, as Kemp hit .286 with 15 home runs and the 53 RBIs. On Tuesday, he became the first San Diego outfielder to knock in 100 runs since 1998, when Greg Vaughn had 119 RBIs.
Kemp, who turned 31 on Sept. 23, has four more seasons left on his contract.
Murphy said he learned a lot about the kind of player Kemp is during their time together this season.
"It's been revealed to me that he cares about winning," Murphy said.