Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Tag: Justin Turner (Page 2 of 9)

Turner and seven lefties lead surge against Scherzer

2016 NLDS Game One---Los Angeles Dodgers vs Washington Nationals

Nationals
Trea Turner, CF
Bryce Harper, RF
Jayson Werth, LF
Daniel Murphy, 2B
Anthony Rendon, 3B
Ryan Zimmerman, 1B
Danny Espinosa, SS
Jose Lóbatón, C
Max Scherzer, P
Dodgers
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrián González, 1B
Josh Reddick, RF
Joc Pederson, CF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Andrew Toles, LF
Rich Hill, P

By Jon Weisman

The eight position players the Dodgers have used in their three previous National League Division Series games against right-handed starters will take the field tonight for Game 5 in Washington against Max Scherzer.

Over six innings in Game 1 six days ago, Scherzer walked none, hit one (Justin Turner) and allowed only five hits, but two of those hits were home runs. That’s basically the one vulnerability for Scherzer, who led NL pitchers with 31 gopher balls.

Including his final three regular-season starts, the 32-year-old Scherzer has given up seven homers in his past 23 2/3 innings.

“I think there’s a lot of confidence,” Dave Roberts said this afternoon of the Dodger offense. “Obviously, when you face Scherzer, whether you faced him a few days ago or you haven’t, this guy’s got elite stuff. He’s a big-game pitcher. Our guys realize that. But having known that we have gotten to him before, and recently, I think that that bodes good for us and our psyche.

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Pitch hits Turner hard, Turner hits pitch far

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By Jon Weisman

It was the worst of déjà vu, it was the best of déjà vu.

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Dodgers ride homers, bullpen to NLDS Game 1 triumph

kershaw-pitching

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Clayton Kershaw didn’t have his best stuff, not by a longshot. But he had some of his best guile, some his best perseverance and all of his best bullpen.

With four Dodger relievers throwing four shutout innings, the Dodgers survived a nail-biting, seat-squirming Game 1 in the National League Division Series, edging the Washington Nationals, 4-3.

Kershaw lasted five innings, punching out seven batters but bobbing and weaving through three runs on nine baserunners. Joe Blanton, Grant Dayton, Pedro Báez and Kenley Jansen worked the back end, to make a Dodger offense led by homers by Corey Seager and Justin Turner stand up.

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In case you missed it: Pre-NLDS news and notes

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Tomorrow really is just a day away. Friday’s opening game of the National League Division Series between the Dodgers and Nationals comes in about 24 hours, depending on when exactly you’re reading this.

Here’s what been percolating …

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Several sizzled in September for Dodgers

Dodgers at Giants, 1:05 p.m.
Kershaw CCLXIII: Kershawcadia
Howie Kendrick, LF
Justin Turner, 3B
Corey Seager, SS
Yasiel Puig, RF
Adrián González, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Joc Pederson, CF
Chase Utley, 2B
Clayton Kershaw, P

By Jon Weisman

Though the 2016 regular season isn’t officially over, the month of September is, a month in which several Dodger bats delivered.

Joc Pederson led the National League in slugging percentage (.702) last month and finished second in OPS (1.154) and fourth in on-base percentage (.452). Pederson led the Dodgers with seven homers and 15 walks.

Over to Pederson’s left — in right field — were two strong hitters. Josh Reddick rallied from a dismal August to tie for the NL lead in batting average (.400), alongside a .435 OBP and .569 slugging percentage. Reddick was due, to say the least — his batting average on balls in play went from .194 in August to .429 in September.

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Kershaw, Seager, Hill, Turner finalists for MLB Players Choice Awards

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS VS LOS ANGELES DODGERS

By Jon Weisman

Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager, Rich Hill and Justin Turner are finalists in four categories of the MLB Players Choice Awards, which will be announced November 9 on MLB Network.

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Dodgers clinch tie for NL West, with Giants holding up the party

kersh

By Jon Weisman

Well, hello there, from inside a tantalizing moment.

Behind a dominant performance by Clayton Kershaw and the offense, the Dodgers have clinched a tie for the National League West title after annihilating the Colorado Rockies, 14-1.

In theory, that should have settled the issue for the night of whether the Dodgers are division champions. But the Giants, who started their game at San Diego 30 minutes before the Dodgers did in Los Angeles, were still playing.

San Francisco led 3-0 after the first inning and 6-0 in the fourth, in a game started by Madison Bumgarner, before San Diego scored in four consecutive innings to tie the game. Moments before the Dodger game ended, the Giants took a 9-6 lead in the 10th inning.

That was the only tension in a night that was otherwise Carnival at Chavez Ravine.

Kershaw struck out six in seven innings of 91-pitch shutout ball, extending his streak without allowing an earned run to 19. He’ll have one more start before the postseason, but — just between us folks — he looks ready.

For Kershaw, it was his first win since returning from the disabled list. Sixteen Dodger pitchers had been credited with victories in between.

Meanwhile, the Dodger bats poured it on against Colorado with four in the second inning, four more in the middle innings and sixth in the seventh, capped by Josh Reddick’s first Dodger grand slam.

Justin Turner tied a career high by reaching base five times, with the Dodgers tallying 21 baserunners in all.

And the waiting continues …

Justin Turner nominated for Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award – vote now

Arizona Diamondbacks vs Los Angeles DodgersHey kid, you like voting? Well, in addition to the MLB Fan of the Year competition below, there’s a fan ballot for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award.

The first step in the process is choosing who will be the finalist from each division. Justin Turner is the Dodgers’ nominee for the National League West.

A regular participant of his teammate, Clayton Kershaw’s Ping Pong 4 a Purpose, Justin is always active in his local community. This past August, he joined the Los Angeles Dream Center for their annual Back to School Bash in distributing 2,000 backpacks, each field with supplies including pencils, paper, and notebooks to families from the Echo Park, Rampart District, Skid Row, Lincoln Heights, South Central and Watts neighborhoods.

Kershaw won the award in 2014.

Turner’s competition from the NL West is made up of A.J. Pollock, Carlos Gonzalez, Jon Jay and Jake Peavy. Vote here. Finalists will be announced September 20.

— Jon Weisman

Dodgers find their thrill in Richard Joseph Hill

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By Jon Weisman

Sweetly, sometimes softly, Rich Hill mixed his pitches, his curveball surveying the scenic route, his fastball sufficiently startling.

And a team starved for starting pitching suddenly has had two superb outings this week from left-handers.

With six shutout innings, Hill duplicated the Sunday feat of Julio Urías — not to mention Hill’s only previous appearance at Dodger Stadium, in 2007 — and the Dodgers edged the San Francisco Giants, 1-0.

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Dodgers got a way with the Giants, 9-5

Seager slide

By Jon Weisman

Early in tonight’s Dodgers-Giants showdown, Dodger Stadium organist Dieter Ruehle played Billy Joel’s “Pressure.”

Funnily enough, the Dodgers played as if they felt no pressure at all.

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Dodger momentum snapped in Philly

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

By Jon Weisman

The Dodgers’ good-time roll hit a rock in their series finale at Philadelphia.

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Dodger offense on record pace since All-Star Break

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Dodgers at Phillies, 4:05 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Josh Reddick, RF
Adrián González, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Joc Pederson, CF
Howie Kendrick, LF
Ross Stripling, P

By Jon Weisman

The Dodger offense has been sensational over the past several weeks, and part of the reason for this post, believe it or not, is to remind people (OK, me) that they can’t stay this hot forever.

Right now, the Dodgers have an .814 OPS since the All-Star Break, which is 30 points higher than the Los Angeles record for second-half OPS of .784 by the 2008 Dodgers. In franchise history, only the 1953 Dodgers have had a higher OPS after the All-Star Game.

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González provides sock, Dodgers’ lead hops

Adrian Gonzalez connects for a three-run home run in the fourth inning. (Tom Mihalek/AP)

Adrian Gonzalez connects for a three-run home run in the fourth inning. (Tom Mihalek/AP)

By Jon Weisman

Just like Tuesday, the Dodgers erased a 1-0 midgame deficit tonight with one swing of the bat.

It’s a fine formula.

Tonight’s hero was Adrián González, who — doing his best Howie Kendrick — hit a lead-changing homer in the fourth inning, and then — doing his best Chase Utley — hit his second homer of the night in the seventh inning of the Dodgers’ 7-2 victory over Philadelphia.

Los Angeles now leads the National League West by 1 1/2 games, their biggest margin since April 26. The Dodgers have gained 9 1/2 games on the Giants in 52 days.

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Dodger rotation is day to day, but aren’t we all

LOS ANGELES DODGERS V PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

Phillies at Dodgers, 12:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Josh Reddick, RF
Corey Seager, SS
Adrián González, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Joc Pederson, CF
Howie Kendrick, LF
Rob Segedin, 3B
Scott Kazmir, P

By Jon Weisman

Ross Stripling will start Friday for the Dodgers in their series opener against Pittsburgh, Dave Roberts said before today’s series finale against Philadelphia.

Rich Hill is being given more time to resolve his blister issues. Stripling, who threw five shutout innings Sunday against Boston, will be pitching on four days’ rest.

The Dodgers remain undecided for their weekend starters against the Pirates. Brandon McCarthy is the top choice for Saturday, but the Dodgers are holding off until after a scheduled Thursday bullpen session before making it official. If not, Julio Urías would be the most likely replacement (on four days’ rest).

Brett Anderson could make his first start of the season for the Dodgers as soon as Sunday, five days after his most recent rehab start. Otherwise, Kenta Maeda would be lined up to pitch the homestand finale on four days’ rest.

In lineup news …

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Blue-hot offense powers Dodgers into first-place tie

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Image-1[62]By Jon Weisman

In 2013, the Dodgers were 9 1/2 games out of first place in June, and came back and won the National League West.

In 2014, the Dodgers were 10 games out of first place in June, and came back and won the National League West.

In 2015, the Dodgers were … well, they were in first place already in June, so that’s good.

But in 2016, the Dodgers were eight games out of first place in June. Late June, in fact. With Clayton Kershaw going on the disabled list.

There are still 49 games remaining in the regular season, but if nothing else, the Dodgers have made their latest grand comeback.Pounding Phillies pitching phor the second night in a row, Los Angeles romped to a 9-3 victory that moved them into a first-place tie with San Francisco at 64-49.

While this is no 42-8 run to resemble 2013, the Dodgers are 23-13 (.639) since Kershaw last pitched, the best record in the NL. Their .515 winning percentage in games Kershaw hasn’t started this season (50-47) would put the Dodgers .007 behind St. Louis for a wild-card spot.

“I think that obviously when you look at the standings, that’s something to hang your hat on a little bit,” Dave Roberts said after the game. “But the bigger picture is the way we’re going about preparing every day. Like I always say, the wins are a byproduct of our preparation, so that’s what we’re trying to focus on.”

If the Dodger bullpen has gone from unsung hero of the 2016 team to focal point of praise, the Dodger offense is making its own in-your-face bid for recognition.

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