Matt Kemp has "that look."
Something happens to the man in the second half of baseball seasons. For whatever reasons, his slugging percentage after the All-Star Break jumps about 40 points. He starts hitting home runs more often (one every 20 at-bats as opposed to one every 25 at-bats pre-All-Star Break).
It's almost like when a basketball player starts to feel it. When Kyrie Irving gets in to one of those scoring zones where, no matter how you try to defend him, he's going to get the ball in the bucket. He just LOOKS dangerous.
Right now Matt Kemp just LOOKS dangerous. On Monday night against the Giants Kemp continued his crazy hot streak at the plate, a string that actually started just before the Midsummer Classic (but after the mathematical midway point of 81 games, so we'll count it).
The Padres right fielder had a pair of hits, including a 2-run home run to the Petco Park beach in right-center, to help the Friars to a 4-2 win over the Giants. San Diego has won a season-high five straight games.
Kemp now has an eight game hitting streak. In those eight games he's hit four home runs and driven in 10. He got help in the lineup from Yangervis Solarte, who had three hits and scored a run, and Melvin Upton Jr., who laced a triple to right-center field and scored on one of Solarte's singles in the 6th inning.
Padres starter Ian Kennedy turned in one of his better outings of the year. Kennedy went 6.0 innings with six strikeouts and one walk. Brandon Maurer, Joaquin Benoit and Craig Kimbrel retired nine of the 10 batters they faced to lock down the win. Kimbrel earned his 26th save, needing just four pitches to do it.
What's even more impressive is the Giants were the hottest team in the National League when they arrived at Petco Park. San Francisco had won six straight games. The Padres can get their sixth straight win on Tuesday night. Odrisamer Despaigne will go for the Friars against Chris Heston.