Matt Kemp's Memorable 2012 Games

Injuries shortened Matt Kemp's 2012 season, but that doesn't mean he didn't have any games to remember.

Here's a list of games that I think sum up Kemp's 2012. Click on the photo to see images of the game from Instagram users (and some of my photos, of course).

  • Saturday, April 28, 2012
  • Dodger Stadium

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I'll never forget Bryce Harper's Major League debut. Not because it was the teenager's first game, but because it was the first time I was at a game that ended in a walk-off home run.

It was a bobblehead night. It was Harper's debut. It was yet another Matt Kemp walk-off home run.

Amazing.

  • Saturday, September 29, 2012
  • Dodger Stadium

Saturday, September 29, 2012

This game, for me, will always be extra special. Not only was this the night that I got to take over the Dodgers' Instagram account, Kemp went yard. Twice.

One of the home runs traveled 461 feet to the power alley in left field. For a moment, I actually thought he hit it out of the stadium.

Kemp kept the Dodgers' playoff hopes alive for another day; the St. Louis Cardinals fell to the Nats in extra innings that night.

  • Wednesday, July 18, 2012
  • Dodger Stadium

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

He hadn't homered since April, but he made his first homer in over two months a good one.

Kemp's 12th-inning home run beat the Phillies to end the Dodgers' four-game losing streak.

Man, I love beating the Phillies!

  • Saturday, April 14, 2012
  • Dodger Stadium

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Another multi-homer performance for Kemp—his first of 2012.

After a very underwhelming Spring Training, many wondered which Kemp we'd see in 2012. Fortunately for us Dodger fans, Kemp stormed out of the gates winning NL Player of the week twice in as many weeks.

It was news when he didn't win player of the week.

This Dodgers' squad wasn't supposed to compete in 2012, but here they were at 8-1, riding a 5-game winning streak, and showcasing arguably the best player in baseball.

Kemp finished the month of April with 13 home runs. Injuries would sideline him for most of the season. He wouldn't hit another home run until July.

  • Tuesday, August 28, 2012
  • Coors Field

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I got home just in time to see him run into the wall—for a second time. Not all memorable games end happily.

He hadn't been himself since returning from injury a second time and you couldn't help but feel for the guy as he writhed in pain on the warning track.

You grimaced with him. A schizophrenic season took another turn.

I was completely shocked that he stayed in the game. I've always been a huge Kemp fan. A Kemp apologist at times, too, but this game epitomized the phrase "leaving it all on the field," fan or not.

He eventually left the game after failing to make a play on a shallow fly ball. Kemp would finish the season, but needed surgery this offseason to repair his shoulder.

  • Wednesday, August 8, 2012
  • Dodger Stadium

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

After badly misplaying a ball to center field in the first inning, Kemp owed us one.

The ball he misplayed led to an Eric Young, Jr. inside-the-park home run.

In the Dodgers' half of the first inning, though, Kemp belted a 1-1 pitch over the outfield wall for a 3-run homer.

Dodgers won the game, 6-4.