Freddie Freeman and Trea Turner have been literally everyday players for the Dodgers, and their first full seasons in Los Angeles have both been incredibly productive.
Freeman and Turner have started every single game in 2022, and will likely continue to do so until the Dodgers clinch the division, perhaps getting at least a start off. One or both of them have held or tied the major league lead in hits every day dating back to July 13.
After play on that day, both Paul Goldschmidt and Freeman had 109 hits. Every day since then, it’s only been a Dodger or Dodgers in the top spot in the majors in hits.
Dodgers leading the majors, let alone the National League, in hits, doesn’t happen too often. Since moving to Los Angeles, only three times has a Dodger led the league in hits — Tommy Davis led the majors in 1962, while Steve Garvey paced the NL in 1978 and 1980. Only six times did a Brooklyn player lead the NL in hits, and the only one in the live ball era was Duke Snider in 1950.
In all the years a Dodger led the league in hits, 1962 was the only year a teammate finished in second place, with Maury Wills tying the Reds’ Frank Robinson with 208 hits that year.
Turner led the majors in hits last season, but it was split between Washington and Los Angeles. He led the majors in hits in 2020, too. The last player to lead the NL in hits for three straight years was Reds first baseman Frank McCormick from 1938-40.
Since Garvey led the NL in hits in 1980, only three Dodgers have reached 200 hits in a season — Steve Sax (210 hits) in 1986, Mike Piazza (201) in 1997, and Adrián Béltre (200) in 2004. Both Freeman and Turner are on pace for over 200 hits, which would be a first for both if they make it.
Adding to the hit race is that Turner and Freeman have batted consecutively in every single game this season. Through Friday, Freeman has batted after Turner (either first and second or second and third) 64 times, and Turner batted after Freeman 60 times (Freeman second, and Turner third).
Their hits have become so bunched together, that SportsNet LA has been running a graphic each time one of Freeman or Turner gets a hit.
Since the All-Star break, they’ve gotten hits in the same inning 11 times, including in a four-game span last weekend each getting their 146th, 147th, 148th, and 149th hits back-to-back.
It’s been only Freeman and Turner 1-2 in the majors, in some order, dating back to July 26. Freeman assumed the lead with his 121st hit that day, and has been the first to 28 of the last 38 hit totals, but has never led Turner by more than three hits. Turner got to ten hit totals first in that time, the last with his 149th hit on August 21.
Freeman and Turner were tied at 120, 122, and 126 hits, and tied again at every hit from 139-149, then again at 156 and 157 hits on Friday in Miami.
There are 38 games remaining in the Dodgers’ regular season, with Freeman 42 hits shy of 200 and Turner 43 hits away. Let’s see how far this jockeying for position goes.