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Turner: Facing Mets 'doesn't mean a whole lot'

LOS ANGELES -- When the Dodgers take on the Mets in the National League Division Series Game 1 on Friday (6:30 p.m. PT, TBS), Los Angeles third baseman Justin Turner will get a chance to face his former team on the big stage.

Not that he's buying into the narrative of revenge against the team that cut him, though.

Turner, a Met from 2010-13, was non-tendered by New York after the 2013 season, and he signed a Minor League deal with the Dodgers in February 2014. Now in his second season with Los Angeles, Turner gets the opportunity to face the Mets as the Dodgers' starting third baseman.

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"It doesn't matter who we're playing, I'd be going about my business the exact same," Turner said. "I think when it comes to the playoffs, it doesn't matter who you're playing, you want to win and move on to the next round."

Since leaving New York, Turner has had a renaissance at the plate. After hitting .340 last season while splitting time with Juan Uribe at the hot corner, Turner took over the starting job this season when the Dodgers dealt Uribe to the Braves in May. Turner proved the Dodgers right by hitting .294 with 16 home runs and 60 RBIs in 126 games while being a mainstay in the heart of the Dodgers' order.

"I don't think going into this year, even with the year I had last year, I would be thinking I'd be hitting third or fourth and playing every day," Turner said.

Turner is mostly healthy going into the postseason, although he is still dealing with a bone bruise after fouling a ball off his knee on June 8. Turner made sure to clear up any ambiguity about what has been made of his chronic knee issues.

"All the hoopla about having knee problems for a long time -- my right knee is what bothered me last year, I haven't had a single problem with it this year," Turner said. "My left knee has never bothered me until I fouled a ball off it, and now I have a bone bruise. So I don't think the history that is talked about with my knees is really there."

In his second straight postseason run with the Dodgers, Turner is preparing for three at-bats against Mets ace Jacob deGrom, rather than studying relievers like he did last season. And he claims that preparing against the team in the blue and orange that he used to wear is no different than if the Dodgers were playing any other team.

"I don't think about any of that stuff," Turner said. "The fact that it is the Mets and I do have a lot of relationships over there from the past doesn't mean a whole lot once the game starts. It's competing and playing to win."

Steve Bourbon is an associate reporter for
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