Dodgers: Breaking Down Justin Turner’s Slump, How Should LA’s Batting Order Look in Game 5?

October is the month when great players become legends in Major League Baseball. With all the clutch hits, key defensive plays, and an iconic walk-off home run, Justin Turner has cemented himself as a Dodger legend in large part due to his postseason heroics.

Turner is the franchise postseason leader in hits (81), home runs (13), RBI (42), doubles (19), runs (41), games (77), walks (34) and of course, he’s been drilled the most (11).

The 2017 NLCS MVP has a career slash line of .280/.375/.488 in the postseason but has gotten off to a slow start this year. This October, the third baseman is slashing .095/.136/.238 with a home run. Through four games in the NLDS, he’s just 1-for-17 with 4 strikeouts.

We break down how the Giants are attacking Turner and discuss if the Dodgers should consider moving him further down in the lineup for Thursday’s winner take all Game 5. Plus, where should the Dodgers place hot-hitting Gavin Lux in the lineup and why Justin Turner could be on the verge of breaking out of his early postseason slump.


The Big Questions

So what’s wrong with JT? And should Dave Roberts drop him lower in the batting order?

On the what’s wrong front, he looks out of rhythm, like he’s searching for his timing at the plate. He’s lacked that killer instinct on pitches in the zone. We all know that one game can spark something for a hitter like Justin Turner, but for the sake of the Dodgers, we better home that comes soon.

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Doug McKain

Doug McKain is a lifelong Dodger fan and hosts Dodgers Nation’s “DNpostgame” show online. He also hosts Dodgers DougOut and the LA Sports Report on YouTube. DMAC is also a rabid Lakers fan, and lover of all Los Angeles sports.


      1. And go with Betts, then Seager with Trea Turner batting 3rd. Kirk, we both know Dodgers must have a better approach at the plate and not go up there trying to slug as DR pointed out. Bottom line here is that the pitching should take care of itself. It’s the offense, and whether they show up or not that will determine if Dodgers play Braves on Saturday or go home.

        1. Paul, wouldn’t it be great to see EVERY dodgers hitter besides Seager ( He already does) choke up with the mentality to put the ball in play? The launch Angle homer or nothing is great against the D-bags or the Pirates, but this is IT!! There would be nothing better than to Beat the Vagiants especially in their own wiffle ball park. Dodgers better score early because their entire staff is rested and I don’t think Kapler will be throwing Leone or anyone the Dodgers have had success against!! Going to be a great game. I’m thinking 2-1, or 3-2 scores and Kenley will end up being the determining factor. I believe it was a mistake for Drrrr’s to NOT throw Jansen in game 4 to keep him sharp. There have been numerous times he is Cold and walks the 1st hitter or 2, then TROUBLE……Also, Urias has to go 6, and that all factors into who Drrrrr’s has left in the pen Late. If the game goes extra’s, he has to have Kelly or Knebel back there. It will be interesting, I’m just grateful Baez isn’t in the fold…….

          1. Kirk, you know you and I go back and forth on stuff. But wouldn’t you agree that this is the best pen DR has ever had?

            This will be a good old fashioned staring contest…whoever blinks first loses IMHO.

          2. D4life, yes I do think this is the Dodgers best pen for sure. Simply eliminating Baez has done wonders. Kelly has been if not the best 2nd, Trienen has been money again, Kenley so far has been as good as his good years. So absolutely yes it’s roberts best pen. And he’s done a good job of rotating them. Biggest surprise by far has been Bickford! What a outstanding job ( Spicoli) has done…

          3. Kirk, nice call on the final score! You said 2-1 or 3-2. Well done buddy! Bellinger choked up, guess he read your post!

            Ferrari just coming out of turn two at the Brickyard….lol

          1. They should have been all year Doug. Bunting is easy unless you don’t practice it IN GAMES. And the Dodgers don’t ever bunt, hit and run (Unless it’s a 3-2 count) squeeze etc. And their failure to be able to move runners and score against good pitching will be their demise.

        2. Kirk, Spicoli lol. I love it! But I beg to differ. While Spicoli has been a wonderful surprise, he’s been that way all year. Now Bazooka was a completely different story there. I almost blew a gasket when he came into the WC game! He had been basically the worst guy coming out of the pen other than Shane Green (thankfully released)! And all he does is set the cards down 1-2-4 on 5 pitches! He plunked Bader with one. I was laughing my head off. But that’s why I don’t second guess DR. His record is better than any other Dodger manager. Sorry to break your heart there. Look it up for yourself.

          1. Kirk, then you got some bad data buddy. I’m using Baseball-reference.com.

          2. Walter Alston won 7 AS games, Tommy Lasorda won 3 AS games….. Roberts has won 0 AS games…. just a fun fact.

          3. Your talking all time winning percentage, as of now yes he does with the Dodgers but he hasn’t won as many World Series as either the 2 HOF’s yet anyways. When he does, I’ll agree with you but winning percentage doesn’t mean anything if you lose the Biggest games. All Star games, World Series, not a division series against the Nationals. One has to compare other managers that have been in as many post season games and he’s at 50. There are several managers in that scope in the post season that have a better winning percentage. And there are a lot that won with far less financial help. Your original gloating on Drrrrrrr’s was his ALL time winning best percentage, now you’ve flipped to all time dodgers, All along i have said drrrr’s doesn’t have the all time Post season winning % because that’s the one that counts. He’s definitely been awarded a incredible bank roll just like the ALL time greatest managers were Torrie, Sparky, Steingel etc etc.

          4. Doug, wow wonderful. A completely meaningless exhibition game.

            Roberts 41-29 .586
            Alston 23-21 .523
            Lasorda 31-30 .508

            These are the ones that matter! Postseason records by manager. Source: Baseball-reference.com.

          5. 4Life,

            Ah, but you forget, it used to be the winner of the AS game got the home field advantage in the WS….. Meaningless? Massive, I would say….

            IF the wizard had a stellar AS game record, you know you’d be talkin’ that up. But he doesn’t, hence your poo-poo’ing the reference.

            It’s OK, love needling you!….. Dave. lol

  1. I am hoping that Turner and Roberts have an honest conversation for the good of the team that both of them love and respect. If that happens, and Turner feels he is ready to bat cleanup, leave him there. Otherwise, let Roberts decide.

    1. As far as the lineup goes, I’ve re-thought it through. My revised projected lineup:

      RF Betts
      SS Seager
      2B T Turner
      C Smith
      CF Lux
      3B J Turner
      1B Bellinger
      LF Taylor
      P “Babe” Urias

      Lux has had the best AB’s of anyone besides Mookie and the Fresh Prince.

      Comments and criticisms are welcome

      It’s time to inflict max pain!

      1. This lineup maximizes the left/right balance making it tougher to exploit a left/right relief pitcher.

          1. Hmmm let me think on that one…Alston managed for 23 years, Lasorda for 21 years. Roberts only 7. Real fair comparison.

      2. Ok so only mistake I made in the lineup was I had JT and Lux flip-flopped in order.

        SF lineup unavailable lol. Kapler didn’t see the brilliant move coming and is now “circling the wagons” lol.

        Stay tuned.

        Let’s go Dodgers!

  2. Wherever JT hits I believe he will deliver. He’s just too damn good not too! That said, all hitters go through it, but slump ends tonight as short term memory is erased and JT lights up the scoreboard. Go Dodgers!

  3. All hitters go through it including the great ones. Stay within and pepper the opposite field. Who knows, might even hit one over that short porch in right. Go Dodgers.

  4. It appears that JT stopped making contact right after Max got hurt. JT is a team player and I’m sure that it’s killing him that right now he is in a slump. He definitely should be dropped down in the lineup as others here have said. Nothing to lose but much to gain. I hope that Roberts does his part in leading his team to victory and doesn’t go all in with picking his favorites to do what they are normally used to doing but just haven’t lately. EVERYBODY knows that it’s this game or else an early winter. I’m sure that Julio relishes in knowing that he is the man of the hour and will not let us down. He is and has been, the most consistent player on the team. I’m looking forward to the boys in blue taking it to the luckiest team that I have seen in ages and ending their season tonight!

      1. I’m not sure Roberts would bat Lux 5th and CT3 8th but you’re probably very close. But in any event, contrary to what is believed, Freidman does not dictate the lineup to Roberts and told the media that long ago. It’s Robert’s final decision so WSS.

        1. Paul, Drrrrrrr lovers like to use Freidman as the scape. Holding Drrrrr accountable isn’t in their denial plans. Completely over shadowing that Friedman saved this team by pulling off the greatest Dodgers trade at the deadline EVER!! Friedman has given DRRRRR the keys to the ferrari, he just has to keep it on the road which was incredibly hard for him to do in then regular season because he was still driving his broken down favorite Chevy players. I do believe Friedman shut down the Bellinger scenario, but that’s all irrelevant at the current moment as Drrrrrrrr has done well navigating this post season so far. No major blunders ( Yet)…..And I’m with you, let’s hope there is a universal DH next season especially if the dodgers keep Drrrrrrrrrrr……. But JT needs to bat 7th and eat his pride. He’s in a Bellinger funk and needs to be treated the same as Bellinger, moved : it seems to have helped cody some what..

          1. The biggest Roberts head scratcher is his over usage of Bill McKinney. I can not come up with one single advantage this guy brings to a ML roster, let alone he seems to be Roberts ‘go to’ guy all the time.

          2. Kirk, you well know I had given credit to Friedman for the HEIST OF THE CENTURY! However, I will also hold him accountable for allowing 4 proven postseason performers (who have had MONSTER 2021 postseasons with other teams) get away.

          3. Kirk, Kapler is already behind the 8-ball and game hasn’t even started yet! Kapler will run out of bench players before DR runs out of arms! Absolutely brilliant move!

            Worst case scenario, Knebel doesn’t have it and gets pulled after 3 batters!

            Mike Schildt wins 17 games in a row and gets axed! Wow, tough business!

            You wanna keep bashing DR, go ahead. I’ll keep defending him until his record indicates I shouldn’t.

            Let’s go Dodgers!!

          4. What you fail to recognize Df4life, is I’m just stating facts about what Drrrr has done, and or what he’s doing. You consider it bashing by me telling the truth. Yes there are way better options, and no it’s not bashing when the facts support it like I do everytime.

          5. Kirk, did you see the postseason managerial records I posted?

            What’s the saying? If you have the facts, argue the facts. If you have the law, argue the law. If you have neither…just argue like heck! You are doing the latter pal. Said with love 😉

          6. OK….

            I think Roberts just may have pulled a fast one… if so, H/T to him.

            Assuming the lineup against CK would be totally different than JU.

            In a game 5 no less! Damn!

            If successful, this would be one for the history books!

          7. Kirk, Ferrari just came through turn two at the Brickyard lol. 😉

    1. Paul one more question for you: How did Mckinnley get a AB the other night? How can DRRRR waste a AB in this series like that is beyond belief… You remember that AB right? 3 pitches= sit down…..Let’s hope Drrrrrrrr realizes he can’t waste AB’s. This is the playoff’s.

      1. Kirk, come on. The game was quite well in hand when Billy Mc came up. In a 2-1 affair that scenario doesn’t happen! You’re reaching now!

        1. 4life, mckinnley is the worst player I have EVER seen on ANY team. He doesn’t belong on this roster let alone in the majors. I’m a old man and I know I could at least foul a pitch off. He is the Biggest detriment to this season as Drrrrrrr used him over and over, failure after failure. And I will go as far to say his continued spot in the line up is THE biggest reason the Dodgers finished 2nd, and had to play a extra game and didn’t have home field advantage in these playoff’s. Reaching? I don’t think so bud… Bellinger’s favortism would be the 2nd.

          1. Kirk, I’m an old man too, and sure I could foul off a pitch too (even if I was a pitcher).

            Alston 23 years postseason record 23-21 .523
            Lasorda 21 years postseason record 31-30 .508
            Roberts 7 years postseason record 41-29 .586

            Nuff sed!

          2. I do believe we all agree that the over usage of McKinney (and some other b/u players in the same lineup/same day due to ‘spa days’) did cost LA a game or two, or three….. FACT.

            Oh well….

  5. JT to me just looks tired and it affecting his bat speed. Late on fastballs and swinging out of the zone on off speed pitches. Hopefully tonight he rights the ship and we head to Atlanta. Go Blue!

    1. Dodger1955, completely agree that JT looks tired. But so does Evan Longoria too and he still managed to run into one off Mad Max and hit it through a hurricane!

  6. df4life, Just something that’s been irking me. Since you ALL OF the SUDDEN you just appeared here at the end of this season when we were all fuming that DRRRRRRR gave away several games, as he was banking on the fact that the Vagiants would implode, and he played his favorites, holding back the team from being succesful. Holding back Beaty and Lux while playing bellinger and Mckinnley. My question is win lose or forfeit tonight, are you just going to disappear off of this talk board site? Or are you going to stick around with the rest of us that have been here for years? I figure if you disappear the crew here will know exactly if you are a paid moderator on this site, or just the Drrrrrr apathetic fan that makes excuses for complacency.

    1. Kirk, while I’ve been a lifelong Dodger fan, I’m new to the site. Only discovered it a few weeks ago, and only read for awhile without posting anything. Not even exactly sure what prompted me to begin posting. I’m a retired financial analyst (5 years ago). Played baseball for years, with a modicum of success. I had a wicked curveball and struck out 16 in 6 innings once.

      Win or lose. I’ll be here awhile as I’ve enjoyed the debates here, as well as the exchange of viewpoints. I can assure you I am not a paid moderator. Hopefully that clears things up for you.

      Let’s go Dodgers!

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