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Justin Turner injures left hamstring in NLCS Game 4 loss, ending his postseason

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Championship Series - Atlanta Braves v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Four Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Game 4 of the NLCS in the seventh inning, suffering a left hamstring strain against the Braves, almost certainly ending an incredibly frustrating postseason for the longtime Dodgers October stalwart.

“Early indication is a Grade 2,” manager Dave Roberts said. “So I think that will be it for him.”

Turner grounded into a double play in the seventh inning, but pulled up when running to first base, grabbing his left hamstring. He limped off the field.

“You never want to see your teammate go down,” said AJ Pollock. “He’s given everything he’s got.”

It’s been a rough postseason for Turner, who singled in the fifth inning for the Dodgers’ first hit of Game 4. Even with the hit, Turner was just 4-for-34 (.118/.211/.206) in 10 games this postseason.

The lack of production is stunning from Turner, who is the Dodgers all-time postseason leader in several statistical categories. He’s also been consistent. Before this year, his lowest OPS in a single postseason was .761, the only time he’s been under .804, excluding the two at-bats as a reserve in 2014.

Justin Turner in the postseason

Year G PA OPS
Year G PA OPS
2015 5 20 1.392
2016 11 46 .971
2017 15 69 .956
2018 16 75 .761
2019 5 24 1.000
2020 18 78 .804
2021 10 37 .417
does not include Turner’s 2 at-bats in 2014 as a reserve in the NLDS

“I think it’s just baseball. I think you go through ups and downs,” Turner said of his struggles before Game 3. “Obviously it’s not ideal at this point in the season to not be getting results, but you just keep showing up and keep working and keep grinding through it and trust the process.”

Batting sixth on Wednesday, Turner was lower than fifth in a Dodgers postseason lineup for the first time as a starter.

Turner suffered a neck stinger during batting practice before Game 1 of the NLCS and was held out of the lineup in Game 2 in Atlanta, snapping a string of 77 consecutive Dodgers postseason games started by Turner, dating back to October 2015.

Injuries in his age-36 season might have been expected, but Turner was at his healthiest in five years in 2021, tying his career highs in games (151) and home runs (27), and led the Dodgers in games, plate appearances (612), and starts (139).

His only extended time missed during the regular season was a left groin issue that sidelined him four games in August, the only time all year he missed consecutive games.

The Dodgers will likely replace Turner on the NLCS roster on Thursday, which would make him ineligible for the World Series should the Dodgers advance. MLB roster rules require replacements to be position player for position player or pitcher for pitcher. Roberts mentioned Billy McKinney, Zach McKinstry, and potentially Andy Burns as possible roster additions for the Dodgers. Burns is currently not on the 40-man roster.