Joan of ArcTo paraphrase my friend Chris Erskine, “Only Joan of Arc was hotter than these Dodgers.”

Despite a sadness lingering over the Dodger dugout, our boys in blue managed to pull off another win, their seventh in eight games on this road trip, when they beat St. Louis, 5-1, to move to 5½ games in first above the D-Backs.

With great pitching by Hyun-Jin Ryu and a three-run homer by my favorite catcher, A.J. Ellis, the Dodgers took another series, meaning they haven’t lost one since the June 14-16 series against the Pirates (and they have only tied four times).

Matt Kemp with Joshua Jones at Dodger Stadium.

Matt Kemp with Joshua Jones at Dodger Stadium.

But the joyousness was tampered by the devastating news that young Joshua Jones, the ill teen befriended by Matt Kemp in San Francisco, had lost his battle with cancer, dying at the tender age of 19.

Earlier this season, Kemp took time after a game at AT&T Park to say hello to Joshua, and spontaneously took off his jersey and his shoes and gave them to the ecstatic young man. Later, Kemp brought Joshua and his family to Dodger Stadium, fulfilling one of the wishes of Joshua’s all-too-short lifetime.

According to the L.A. Times, Kemp had told Bill Plaschke: “I don’t think some athletes understand how big it is to be an athlete, what they can do with just a simple gesture of shaking a kid’s hand. It can make a fan’s day. It can make a fan’s life.”

You are the man, Matt Kemp. This is exactly why we love you so very much. Thank you for making Joshua’s life a little bit happier.

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