Amid questions heading into the season as to who would provide the offensive punch for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Adrian Gonzalez has again proven to be one of their more steady and clutch batters.
Although Gonzalez has slumped recently, he was largely responsible for the Dodgers extra-innings win over the San Diego Padres to take the three-game series from their Naitonal League West counterparts. Great as the All-Star first baseman has been, Justin Turner has also delivered in clutch moments for the Dodgers.
Turner’s success certainly isn’t lost on Gonzalez. Prior to Tuesday’s game at Globe Life Park in Arlington, the first baseman credited his teammate for being a complete hitter, via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
I keep telling people – there’s no clearcut way to pitch to him,” Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonalez said of Turner’s ability. “That means if you think you can go down and away with a slider, he might dump it into right field for a hit. You think you can come up and in with a fastball? He can pull it. A pitcher has to continue to make pitch after pitch after pitch to him and that means there’s a better chance of them making a mistake.”
Turner went on to hit a two-run home run that tied Tuesday’s game in the ninth inning. It also prevented Texas Rangers starter Chi Chi Gonzalez from throwing a second complete-game shutout in his young career (four starts).
Primarily used as a bench player and pinch-hitter, Turner slashed .340/.404/.493 in 2014, which was a career season. He’s hitting .319/.388/.514 with six home runs and 26 RBIs in 55 games (35 starts) this season. Turner’s offensive value is rated at 10.7 above average and carries a 19.4 RAR (runs above replacement).
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