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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Talks Justin Turner’s Struggles at the Plate this Postseason



While the Dodgers have done well to advance to the NLCS once again, the club has done it without the usual contribution from one of its all-time postseason greats. At least so far. Yes, this October has not been overly kind to third baseman Justin Turner. While he connected early in the postseason on a crucial home run that helped LA seal a win in the Wild Card game, that’s been about all she wrote up to this point.

If you’ve watched any Dodger baseball in the second half of the season, you’d know it’s a continuation of struggles for JT. After hitting .305 in the first half — good enough to be named a National League All-Star — he hit just .241 in the second half of the season.

So what’s wrong with RedTurn2? Dave Roberts shared his thoughts on where Turner is at at the plate.

“All I can say is I think he’s been in between this postseason. There have been some hittable fastballs that he’s been passive on and I think there’s some pitches that he’s missed. And he’s chased. So there’s been a combo. The only way I can say it is he’s sort of been in between.”

The eye test echoes that sentiment. JT has been caught in-between on pitches more than ever. At the same time, he’s watching very hittable strikes while expanding the zone on pitches well off the plate more often than usual.

It could be pressing. Or it could be that the 36-year-old is gassed.

Related: Will Smith and Dave Roberts Talk about Mitigating Stolen Bases

Notably, Turner talked late in the season about maybe feeling a bit more tired than he would usually be, pointing to coming off the shortened 60 game season in 2020. Now, after opening the postseason with just 3 hits in 28 at-bats (.107), it’s easy to think that, perhaps, the veteran could use a game off for a breather.

“Maybe. That’s totally a good thought. But I just think with Justin, he’s struggled before. I think he does as good a job as anybody of coming in fresh that day and trying to help us win. But when you look back, yeah, you might see a day when he didn’t have to be in there and it might be a good mental break. But it’s not something he wants or feels he needs.”

Either way, an injury essentially forced that day off for Turner — two days off at minimum, technically, with Monday’s off day. If he recovers enough between now and first pitch of game 3 back in Los Angeles, he’ll again be in the middle of the lineup. Hopefully, that’s enough of a mental reset to get the postseason legend back on track.

 

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. How about an article about “Dave Roberts talks about his struggles with impersonating a major league manager each season and post season”.

    • Dave Roberts is the Baseball version of Mike Martz.
      Dick Vermeil retired after winning the 1999 Super Bowl as coach of the St Louis Rams and handed the keys to a Dynasty type football team nick-named the the “Greatest Show on Turf” to Martz a selfish being that felt short-changed when players received more recognition than him as the offensive coordinator. Determined to prove he was the master mind and much more deserving than the players, he proceeded to make changes that left us all asking “What the **** is he doing now?” The same question we repeatedly ask about Roberts. Even though loaded with talent, under Martz the team once known as GSOT returned to mediocrity. This year the Giants manager did an an amazing job with much less to work with and probably would have won 120 games with the Dodgers.

  2. I predicted that if the offense continues to be inept with RISP as they have on many occasions this year that they will fall short.. And so far at least in the first 2 games, that’s exactly the case.

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