Headed into the All-Star break, Tony Kemp was struggling at the plate.
Since the second half of the season has started, Kemp has picked it up and put together more productive at bats for the Oakland Athletics.
From July 6th to July 11th Kemp went hitless and the All-Star break could not have come at a better time for the veteran. Coming into July, Kemp had back-to-back impressive months at the plate in May and June.
— Oakland A's (@Athletics) May 20, 2021
In both months, he hit .292 and made a significant impact in the Athletics lineup.
He’s recently had some better performances at the plate and that’s the big turnaround he’s needed. Kemp returned from the All-Star break and delivered a four-game hit streak. It seemed as if that break was what Kemp needed to get himself rested for the second half of the season.
He had his best game of the month so far on July 24th against the Seattle Mariners. Our MLBbro went 2-for-4 at the plate with a run scored and a RBI. That was the first time he had a multi-hit game in over a month. He was definitely due for a game like that. He’s way too good a hitter to continue to struggle.
From the end of May to the beginning of June, Kemp went on an eight-game hitting streak.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) June 19, 2021
Throughout June, Kemp continued to have impressive performances at the plate and he wanted that to continue going into July. At the start of July, Kemp could not buy a hit. He only had two hits in 10 games.
On July 3rd, Kemp went hitless against the Boston Red Sox, but he came up in a big way to help his team win the game.
Despite going 0-for-4 at the plate, Kemp hit a sacrifice fly to help the Athletics defeat the Red Sox 7-6.
Despite delivering the walk-off sac fly, Tony Kemp literally beat himself up over his failed bunt attempt in the 10th inning. 😬 pic.twitter.com/bDiHf6A2yG
— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) July 4, 2021
Kemp was not pleased with his performance that game, but he was glad he helped the team come out with a win.
“That was a relief,” Kemp told reporters after the game. “Leading up to that point in the game, that was, thinking back, I think that was, up to that point, the worst game I’ve played in the big leagues. Just a lot of thinking going on there, like such a long game, sometimes you help your team win, sometimes you help your team lose. Unfortunately, for a long time in that game, I was on the unfortunate end of that.”
Through 79 games he’s hitting .253 with four home runs and 19 RBI.
Sometimes baseball can be a funny game. You can go hitless in a game and still be the hero and that’s exactly what happened to Kemp. That was the one bright spot during his hitless streak before the All-Star break and now that’s all behind him as he looks to continue to make an impact for his team trying to hang in the AL West race, sitting five game sbehind the first place Astros.
There will be times where a player might struggle at the plate for an extended period of time, but they can’t let that affect their game. How they respond to that adversity and make adjustements determines the success they have.
Don’t be surprised if Kemp finishes out July on a positive note and carries that throughout the remainder of the season.