The Los Angeles Dodgers surely weren’t expecting to be without the franchise’s best postseason hitter heading into a crucial NLCS Game 2 matchup with the Atlanta Braves, but now they’ll have to get by sans Justin Turner.
When the lineup dropped on Sunday afternoon, Turner was nowhere to be found, and Chris Taylor, who made a fatal mistake in Game 1, had taken his spot at third base.
Manager Dave Roberts addressed Turner’s omission to the media shortly after the lineup reveal and he told reporters that the third baseman was dealing with a neck stinger and would be unable to go.
With Taylor shifting over to third, Gavin Lux will get the start in center field and Cody Bellinger will be at first base against right-hander Ian Anderson.
Justin Turner will miss NLCS Game 2 for the Dodgers with a neck issue.
It’ll be a prime opportunity for Taylor to redeem himself … but it’s worth noting he’s played just 17 games at third base since 2019. And now he’ll be logging his 18th in a very winnable road playoff contest that would help LA reclaim home-field advantage in this series.
As for Turner, perhaps this neck issue has been bothering him for longer than we’ve known? He’s had a rough go this postseason. Outside of his clutch homer against the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Wild Card Game, the slugger is just 2-for-27 with zero extra-base hits and zero RBI.
And the Dodgers still beat the Giants in the NLDS despite Turner only logging a single throughout the five-game series.
The silver lining here could be giving Lux, who was hot to end the season and had a productive NLDS, a start as LA is in search of some consistent offense while letting Turner’s cold bat take a night off. The Dodgers are capable of blowing the lid off every game, but they’ve been reserved for much of this postseason, and they can’t make that a habit with each and every day getting more and more difficult.