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Oct. 10 Justin Turner pregame interview

October 10, 2016

THE MODERATOR: Thanks for being here, Justin. First question.Q. Could you explain that tee shirt, Turner for President? I think that's a good idea.JUSTIN TURNER: I think I've got a chance this year. Yeah, it was something we did in spring training. They did it for -- I think five

THE MODERATOR: Thanks for being here, Justin. First question.

Q. Could you explain that tee shirt, Turner for President? I think that's a good idea.

JUSTIN TURNER: I think I've got a chance this year. Yeah, it was something we did in spring training. They did it for -- I think five or six teams had guys that did kind of a presidential campaign for certain players, just to go along with the election year. It's not serious. I haven't been contacted by the Republicans or the Democrats.

Q. How was your flight last night coming back from D.C.?

JUSTIN TURNER: Not too bad. Not too bad. Watched a couple movies, had a nice dinner and by the time the second movie was over, we were about 15 minutes out. Got in at a decent hour, it was a little before 10:00 and had a chance to get a good night's sleep.

Q. Have you had any conversations with Daniel Murphy during the series, and if not, can you tell us about some of the convos you've had during the year?

Yeah, yesterday I asked him if his family and his house were doing all right, because he lives down in Jacksonville, obviously Hurricane Matthew has come up that coast and done some damage. But other than that, not really.

Q. What do you think of the way that he's performed in the post-season this year and last year? Have you guys ever spoken about that?

JUSTIN TURNER: Yeah, I mean, we talk all the time. He's always been in my opinion an elite hitter, and obviously something the last month of the season last year clicked for him, and he started learning how to, you know, frequently hit balls out of the yard.

He took his ability of being an elite hitter to the next level. I don't know what that level is, but he's playing on the moon right now. So you know, happy for him and everything that he's done. Obviously I don't want to see him have that much success against us, but definitely happy for him and his family and the way his career's taken off.

Q. Could you explain what happened from second to home plate on the play that you came home on the double play?

JUSTIN TURNER: On the base hit yesterday?

Q. No, no, the day before. The one that you scored.

JUSTIN TURNER: The one that --

Q. Well, yesterday, yes. Okay. Yesterday?

JUSTIN TURNER: Oh, on the Reddick's base hit. I knew it was a hit right away, so I was going hard, and picking up Woody at third. He decided to roll the dice and send me. The ball actually beat me there, so I tried to get a little tricky and slide around him. I don't know what happened. I don't know if my hand knocked the ball out of the glove or what happened, but he wasn't able to hold on to it.

Q. You've been on the team for a few years now. Is this the tightest group you've played with? It looks like you're all on the same page now.

Yeah, we're definitely a cohesive unit. When stuff happens and stuff's going on, the issues outside of what's happened on the field, I feel like this year more than ever, we've come together as a group and addressed issues as a team better than we ever had.

You know, in the past, we would have some guys just going to other players and complaining here and there and a bunch of little sidebars. And this year, it seems like everything gets nipped in the bud right away. Guys come together, we have conversations and we figure out what the best decision is for the team and we move forward.

I think that's huge from having distractions going on, not on the field. The game is hard enough as it is; you don't need a bunch of guys running around talking about stuff that doesn't really matter.

So that's one thing that I think has been huge this year is issues are addressed right away by the group and when it's said and done, it's done.

Q. What has Doc meant to all this, with the thinking he's established with the club?

JUSTIN TURNER: Thinking, positivity, encouragement. He believes in us, even when things weren't going good. You know, myself personally, in the beginning of the year, I was struggling for the first two months. He believed in me. He kept running me out there. He kept putting me in the 3-spot in the lineup. He kept telling me, Hey, like, you're my guy, you're there. And that goes a long way.

I think guys have a lot of respect for him and what he's done. And going back to the issues, he doesn't push anything aside. When something happens, he's the leader of it. He addresses everything right away and gets it taken care of, and you know, that's kind of a breath of fresh air for us.

Q. Is the tension of a playoff game constant from first pitch to last, or is there sort of an ebb and flow where you can relax and sort of gear up for specific moments?

JUSTIN TURNER: You don't ever want to relax. I don't think there's, you know, any lead or anything that's safe in the playoffs. I think we've seen it all the time, crazy stuff happening, and you kind of want to keep your foot on the pedal from the first pitch.

So it's hard to do, but you know, at the same time, I think this club's been doing it all year, locking it in from the first out to the last out and playing every pitch. So that's something that we take pride in, and you know, I think the team that does that the best usually has the most success.

Q. How personally do you keep the tension from overwhelming you?

JUSTIN TURNER: You just try to stay in the moment. I have different routines and stuff that I go through in between pitches, on defense, especially. Those innings can get long, and trying to stay focused for 15 minutes straight is probably not healthy, for one.

But in between pitches, you kind of space out and let your mind go for a few seconds and then whenever whoever is pitching gets back on the mound, you try to lock it back in and regain your focus, and that's kind of how I do it. You try to go in and out, so you're not just frying your brain for 3 1/2, or yesterday, four hours straight. You've got to kind of go in and out.

Q. Curious, as one of the right-handed batters in this lineup, a lot had been said about the Dodgers struggling against left-handers, whether that puts anymore pressure on you, whether you even think about it or what the approach is.

JUSTIN TURNER: No, I don't think so. We've beat some good lefties this year. We beat David Price, we beat Bumgarner, we beat Matt Moore. We've had success, but at the same time also had our struggles.

This is different. This is the playoffs. Crazy stuff happens. Whenever I get done in here, we're going to go have an offensive meeting, like we have the last two days, and put together a game plan to try to go out and score as many runs as we can off Gio.

It's all about taking good at-bats and not trying to do too much. I think when you try to do too much or get out of character, that's when things go sideways on you. If we get the results out of our head and just focus on, you know, taking a quality at-bat, I think we're going to have success today.

Q. You guys started slow here at home, and then you turned it on, obviously. You guys are second-best record at home in baseball. Is that the offensive turnaround or is there something that happened here with the team?
JUSTIN TURNER: Yeah, I think it definitely did. When the offense started picking it up, we were clicking on all cylinders. So you know, the first couple months of the season, it was the pitching staff carrying us. If they didn't pitch good, we didn't win because we couldn't score runs.

Once we started scoring runs and being a better offensive unit, we started finding more and more ways to win games. It wasn't always score a bunch of runs. One night it was the pitching, one night it was defense, one night we would score enough runs that it didn't matter. That made it fun to come to the yard and that made us a lot better team when we were going on all three facets of the game.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Justin. Appreciate it.