"I'm not even going there," Braun said Sunday.
The last time the Brewers' star left fielder played in front of Dodgers fans, in a Spring Training game on March 30 in Glendale, Ariz., there was no shortage of jeers from those who believe Kemp should have been named the 2011 National League MVP over Braun.For the first time this season, Braun and the Brewers (19-28) visit the Dodgers (32-15), who have the best record in baseball, in a four-game series. Adding to the interest, Kemp, who was placed on the disabled list on May 14, was activated Tuesday, with Jerry Sands heading to Triple-A Albuquerque. Braun, whose 50-game suspension for a failed drug test was appealed and overturned in February, boasted a .332 average with 33 home runs and 111 RBIs last season. Meanwhile, Kemp hit .324 with 39 home runs and 126 RBIs. "The best thing I can do to move forward is to have success, hope our team gets back to the postseason, continue to do the things I've done over the last five years," Braun said after that Spring Training game. "That's what I plan on doing. I don't know if I've definitely lost [the fans]. I don't sit here and analyze what people think or have to say when the opinions are based on a lack of information." There's a common sentiment that Braun was voted MVP over Kemp because the Brewers had much more success than the Dodgers last season. "That's probably the one thing that separates us," Braun said then. "If you honestly assess our seasons individually, his numbers are probably slightly better than mine. I just feel fortunate to have been on the better team." This season, Kemp started off on a tear before going on the DL, snapping his Major League-leading streak of 399 consecutive games played. Kemp was hitting .359 with 12 home runs and 28 RBIs before the injury. Braun is hitting .312 with 13 home runs and 34 RBIs this season. Brewers: Ishikawa heads to disabled list
Milwaukee first baseman Travis Ishikawa was placed on the DL with an injured left rib-cage muscle on Sunday, adding to the club's laundry list of shelved players. Six Brewers are on the DL, while some others are managing bumps and bruises. Though Ishikawa is not sure how the injury occurred, the discomfort on his left side began during the Brewers' stop in Houston on May 16-17. "We're banged up," manager Ron Roenicke said. Dodgers: Gwynn filled in nicely for Kemp
Tony Gwynn made the most of his playing time filling in for the injured Kemp. The center fielder was hitting .304 with two extra-base hits and six RBIs in 10 starts since Kemp went on the DL, then added two hits and two RBIs on Sunday. "It's pretty much been a 25-guy effort to make up for Matt's absence, but we've done a good job," Gwynn said. "We've battled through some tough times and lost a couple games in a row there. We were able to bounce back and get that win [Saturday]. We just try to keep pushing forward and go day by day, and hopefully we can keep improving as the days go on." Kemp wasn't the only player rehabbing in Albuquerque. Rivera also has a strained left hamstring but has been on the shelf longer than Kemp. "You know it's on the horizon to get guys back," manager Don Mattingly said. "We'll get one, and a couple days after that we'll get another guy back. But it's tough coming back. Jerry [Hairston, who returned Friday night] is back, but you know it takes a couple days to get the rhythm back. It's hard to say Matt will come off and be on fire again." Worth noting
The Brewers took two of three games against the Dodgers in the clubs' series in Milwaukee in April. Each game was decided by one run. Shaun Marcum (2-3, 3.93 ERA) will start for the Brewers on Monday. In three career starts against the Dodgers, the right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA. Aaron Harang (3-2, 4.36 ERA) will take the mound for the Dodgers on Monday. The veteran right-hander lasted only 4 1/3 innings against the D-backs in his previous start, allowing nine hits and five earned runs. Harang earned the win in his April 19 start against the Brewers, surrendering three runs on eight hits in six innings.