Dodgers: Key Players That Need to Step Up in the NLCS

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 07: Justin Turner
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 07: Justin Turner /
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CHICAGO, IL – APRIL 10: Justin Turner
CHICAGO, IL – APRIL 10: Justin Turner /

Justin Turner

The Red Dream has dreamlike facial hair and playoff statistics. It seems like he is always on base in October. He was the catalyst of the offense in the NLDS. The thing that makes him an absolute nightmare in the playoffs is not his bat. It is his plate discipline. Turner has pesky at-bats every time he steps into the box.

He refuses to swing at pitches out of the zone which is a lot more difficult than people realize. He also rarely swings and misses. He runs the opposing pitcher’s pitch count up and is just a tough out. I can’t imagine what it feels like having to go up against a player like Turner….

Oh wait, yes I can. I don’t even have to imagine it because I’ve lived through it. Daniel Murphy. JT is essentially the right-handed equivalent of Daniel Murphy. Dodger fans should know that feeling we had every time Murph stepped into the batter’s box the past two postseasons. That ire we had whenever our pitcher made the pitch of his life, but Murphy fouls it off until he gets a pitch to handle.

That is exactly what opposing fans should feel when Turner comes up to bat. He changes the game completely. Not just by driving in runs. He works counts and can be a pivotal contributor to the early exit of a starting pitcher. If other players are not performing, he can carry a massive load of the offense while fatiguing the pitcher into mistakes for other hitters. He will be a key player in the NLCS.