Dodgers utility man Justin Turner put on a heck of show last night, seemingly doing everything he could to beat his old teammates.
Turner turned two key double plays against the Mets, and was no slouch at the plate singling, doubling, drawing a walk and scoring a run. Turner also stole a base and nearly scored another run if not for a botched suicide squeeze by Dan Haren who failed to get down the bunt.
Always a high energy player, Turner is having a great season for the Dodgers in his utility role, batting .319 for the season with a .398 on-base and .826 OPS.
He’s also excelling as a pinch hitter, batting .409 with nine pinch-hits to lead the NL. He also has four game-winning hits for the Dodgers including a game winning home run against the Padres on Thursday night..
Before the game, Terry Collins had lots of praise for Turner. “He can hit,” Collins said with some enthusiasm. “Always could hit. He’s not the flashiest of the flashy, but he can walk up in any situation and hit.”
Turner was non-tendered by the Mets despite batting .280 in 214 plate appearances for them in 2013. The Dodgers signed him to a minor-league deal and after a great Spring, won himself a spot on the Opening Day roster.
Gary Cohen said during the broadcast that letting Turner go was a bad decision that’s only been magnified given the poor results off the Mets bench this season.
“He was always ready for whatever we needed him for,” Collins said. “Play left field one day, third base, second base, whatever. It’s been a good situation with him over there [with the Dodgers].”
I was always a big Turner fan and loved the enthusiasm he had for the game and the fun he had on the field which was always refreshing to see.