Justin Turner starts at third base for the Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Padres, which isn’t news. He’s batting third, just as he has in his previous 26 starts, dating back to the regular season.
What is noteworthy is that Turner on Wednesday will tie the Dodgers record for most postseason games played. This is Turner’s 58th postseason game for the Dodgers, matching Yasiel Puig for the top spot. Understandably, the Dodgers’ current run of success, their best extended period during the wild card era, has produced the top four postseason game totals in franchise history, with Andre Ethier third and Joc Pederson fourth. Kiké Hernandez is ninth, with 44 games played.
Turner has been a clutch performer throughout his Dodgers career, and in his first 57 postseason game, he’s hitting .299/.402/.498.
He credits his ability to perform in big moments to Ken Ravizza, the longtime sports psychologist and professor at Cal State Fullerton who passed away in 2018.
NLDS Game 2 lineups
|2B||Cronenworth (L)||CF||Bellinger (L)|
“I worked with him for many years, and took a couple of his classes. He talked about the mental side of baseball, and life, really,” Turner remembered last week. “He was huge for my career in being present and being able to let go of the bad stuff and move on, and get back to the next pitch.”
The next pitch to Turner could bring another milestone. His RBI single in the Dodgers’ winning sixth-inning rally was his 63rd career postseason hit. That matched Steve Garvey for the top spot in franchise lore.
Turner already has the most RBI (36), doubles (13), and walks (28) in Dodgers postseason history. Unsurprisingly, his nine times hit by pitch are also best, more than double any other player. Turner’s 78 regular season HBP are also tops in Dodgers history.
With a decent run this October by the Dodgers, or even a breakout game, Turner could claim a few more club postseason records. His nine home runs are two behind Duke Snider’s 11 (which were all hit in the World Series, lest we forget), and Turner’s 27 runs scored are two behind Garvey for the team lead.
Turner is 7-for-20 (.350/.350/.500) against Padres Game 2 starter Zach Davies, with a home run that was hit in 2016. This season, Turner has four hits in six at-bats against the right-hander.
San Diego is using the same starting nine in Game 2, though with the left-handed Clayton Kershaw on the mound they moved center fielder Trent Grisham, a left-handed batter, from leadoff to ninth, as the Padres did in each of Grisham’s last six starts against a lefty over the final four weeks of the season.
Wil Myers has faced Kershaw more than any other Padres batter, but is just 5-for-40 (.125/.182/.125) with two walks and 14 strikeouts. Eric Hosmer, batting third and playing first base, is 9-for-27 (.333/.357/.519) against Kershaw, with a home run and two doubles, though Hosmer in his launch-angle-infused 2020 season hasn’t faced him.