The Dodgers will look to even up the series against the Braves tonight in Atlanta. One night after the offense fell short and let down the bullpen, Dave Roberts decided to shake things up a little bit. Doc has already shown this postseason that he is willing to move guys around to get things going or provide a spark.
On Sunday night, that move was keeping Justin Turner out of the starting lineup. The veteran third baseman has struggled greatly this postseason, with just 3 hits in 28 at-bats. Those struggles carried over into Game 1 of the NLCS with 2 strikeouts in big spots.
Instead of JT, Doc went with Chris Taylor over at third base. This will be just the 10th game of the entire 2021 season that Taylor has started at the hot corner. The Dodgers also went with Gavin Lux in centerfield with the right-handed Ian Anderson on the mound for Atlanta.
Doc revealed during his pregame press conference that Turner was actually out with an injury. Roberts described it as a stinger in the right side of his neck that is preventing him from turning his head freely.
“It’s difficult. It is,” Roberts said on Sunday. “Obviously I want him to be in there. We’re always better when he’s in there. But where he is at – with the limitations with the head, the neck – I have to take a step back and ask, ‘What’s our best option?’ My job is to put the players in the best position for success and I just don’t think physically … I wouldn’t be doing my job.”
The hope is obviously that JT can be back in there as soon as possible. Even with his struggles, Turner is one of the best Dodgers postseason hitters in the history of the organization. They need him in there.