When Justin Turner pulled up lame with a hamstring injury on Wednesday night, it was a huge blow for the Dodgers. Perhaps not in the traditional sense — he hadn’t been producing at the plate all postseason long. But his presence both in the lineup and on the field is something that will surely be felt as the team tries to stay alive this postseason.
“We were just sad for him because he’s been the glue for us,” LA manager Dave Roberts said. “To see him go down like that, it sucks. We more feel for him (than ourselves). Not to feel a lack of sympathy or whatever – but we’ve got to move on. … We’re not as good without him. But [the Braves] don’t care.”
That became the mindset quickly for the Dodgers. You never want to see someone of the pedigree of Turner go down with an injury. But in the postseason how you feel doesn’t matter… the biggest game of your season is that night. And if you’re lucky, the next night.
Mookie Betts hit all of that in a conversation with media before game 5.
“I mean, obviously it sucked. He’s such a huge part of our lineup, a huge part of our – well, everything. The culture, everything. When you think of the L.A. Dodgers you think of Justin Turner. So not having him in the lineup makes it a lot harder. But we also can’t sit here and cry about it. We still have a game to play. We have to let the next guy step up and he has to do his job.”
The Dodgers are 1-0 in the post-JT era, keeping the 2021 season hopes alive. Moments like these, as much as they hurt a club, can also galvanize a club. Particularly a team that, at times, appears to be struggling with motivation after finally catching and passing the Giants. It galvanized the club enough to put up 11 runs in a game 5 win over the Braves.
LA plays again with its back against the wall on Saturday afternoon back in Atlanta. Max Scherzer gets the ball for the Dodgers.
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