Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Turner's heroics help Dodgers knot NLCS, 1-1

October 13, 2018

MILWAUKEE -- The Dodgers should prepare for Game 3 of the National League Championship Series by telling Justin Turner it's still Game 2.:: NLCS schedule and results ::Turner's ninth-inning walk-off homer in Game 2 of last year's NLCS helped propel the Dodgers over the Cubs and into the World Series,

MILWAUKEE -- The Dodgers should prepare for Game 3 of the National League Championship Series by telling Justin Turner it's still Game 2.
:: NLCS schedule and results ::
Turner's ninth-inning walk-off homer in Game 2 of last year's NLCS helped propel the Dodgers over the Cubs and into the World Series, and he was at it again Saturday with a two-run homer in the eighth inning for a crucial 4-3 comeback win over the Brewers. The win sends the best-of-seven series to Los Angeles tied at a game apiece.
It was Turner's seventh postseason home run with the Dodgers, tied for third with Adrian Gonzalez on the franchise list. He already held the franchise postseason RBIs record, now at 29. Turner passed Dusty Baker and tied Davey Lopes for fourth-most Dodgers postseason hits with 43.
From those October achievements, to Turner's .319 postseason batting average, and even the .160 average when L.A. lost the World Series last year, this is why so many scouts -- and even teammates -- believe that as Turner goes, so go the Dodgers.
"If you're talking about the grind, the tough conversations, the identity of our ballclub, he's probably the face," manager Dave Roberts said. "He personifies everything that I believe in as a baseball player, as a professional. And then you can get into the community and all that stuff. But yeah, I call him -- he's the glue for our club."
Turner had a HR celebration for each teammate
In Game 1, the Dodgers came unglued, and Turner with them. A postseason hitting machine, he struck out four times and was charged with an error in a one-run loss.
"Yeah, I think it's well documented that was probably the worst game of my career offensively," said Turner. "I wasn't feeling good about myself last night and wasn't happy with the results, but today was a new day and another chance to go out and win a ballgame."

"It did upset him," said Roberts, "and it takes a special athlete to have a night like he had last night and to show up the next day in a big spot and want to have the bat in your hand. And Justin is that guy, and those are hard to come by."

In the history of best-of-seven series with the 2-3-2 format, teams that split the first two games on the road have gone on to take the series 36 of 80 times (45 percent). Games 3, 4 and 5 will be played at Dodger Stadium from Monday through Wednesday.
Brewers-Dodgers G3: Lineups, matchups, FAQs
Turner pulled Jeremy Jeffress' 2-0 inside splitter into the left-field seats after Chris Taylor led off the eighth by legging out an infield single.
"He just got lucky," Jeffress said of Taylor.
And Turner?
"He just got lucky," Jeffress said.
Jeffress remains confident, says LA got "lucky"

Turner had a more credible explanation.
"I was just trying to elevate, get something in the air," Turner said. "I know [Max] Muncy is on deck behind me with only righties down [in Milwaukee's bullpen], and he's obviously done some incredible things this year. So last thing I want to do is put a ball on the ground. As soon as I hit it, it felt good. I knew it was a homer, and it's cool to run around the bases and see all your teammates going crazy, jumping up and down waiting for you. That's pretty cool."

After six innings, the Dodgers trailed, 3-0. Hyun-Jin Ryu allowed a homer to Orlando Arcia and couldn't get out of the fifth inning of what had been an unexpected scoreless duel with Brewers starter Wade Miley. He helped himself with a double and a single as Milwaukee took a 2-0 lead into the sixth inning that Travis Shaw extended to 3-0 with a lefty-on-lefty homer off Alex Wood, the second he's allowed after four batters faced in the postseason.

But as the Dodgers did in Game 1, they kept grinding, confident they could platoon their way through the Brewers' bullpen having done so the night before, feeling even better because Josh Hader pitched three innings in that game and was unavailable.
"When you know you have a guy like Hader and he was going to be down, for me there is just no cost to what has now been called a line change for our roster," Roberts said. "So to insert these guys and not have to worry about him, yeah, it made it a lot easier."

Four consecutive batters reached base in a two-run seventh inning, including an RBI single by Cody Bellinger that snapped an 0-for-15 drought and a bases-loaded 3-2 walk by Austin Barnes, taking over behind the plate after Yasmani Grandal's Game 1 nightmare.
"Give Barnes credit, he laid off," said Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
After the Shaw home run, Los Angeles paraded five more relievers to get the final 11 outs, finishing up with a Kenley Jansen save. Fittingly, the game ended with NL MVP Award candidate Christian Yelich at the plate and the tying run on second base, but Jansen got Yelich (previously 3-for-5 vs. Jansen) to ground softly to Turner, who fired to first to end it.

SOUND SMART
The only Dodgers reliever who did not pitch was Julio Urias, who allowed a home run to the first batter he faced in Game 1.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Balls hit like David Freese's fly -- which Lorenzo Cain caught reaching over the fence in the first inning -- went for a home run 45 percent of the time from 2015-18, according to Statcast™.

HE SAID IT
"Even though we played our worst baseball yesterday, we feel like we almost got it. Today we came from behind, got to that bullpen, and we feel great." -- Jansen

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.