If the Los Angeles Dodgers are going to make yet another comeback in the game within a game in this NLCS, they’re likely going to have to do it without one of their foremost postseason leaders.
Down 5-2, the seventh inning of Game 4 started off in promising fashion for the Dodgers, especially following the positive vibes of their extremely similar comeback in Game 3 Tuesday evening.
Albert Pujols started the frame off with a line-drive single, only to be relieved on the base paths by Tuesday’s starter Walker Buehler. Up stepped Justin Turner, the author of so many previous postseason moments, and he swiftly got ahead in the count 2-0 with AJ Minter on the mound.
Cody Bellinger was on deck. Things were starting to melt in the opposite direction of whatever the Braves had intended. And then, in a flash, things snapped back to the disaster.
Minter came back on Turner, who rapped a pitch directly into the teeth of the shift for a ground ball double play. Hustling hard to first, he pulled up dramatically, the balky hamstring he’s been battling finally biting him at a brutal moment.
Dodgers infielder Justin Turner exits Game 4 with a hamstring injury.
You’d be hard-pressed to chart a path back for Turner for the remainder of the postseason, a duration that’s growing ever shorter with every empty offensive inning for the Dodgers.
Earlier in the series, Turner missed time with a neck injury/stinger. His minutes were managed down the stretch, too, as he repeatedly received days off as Los Angeles chased the NL West title that eventually evaded him.
This postseason, the legendary Turner hasn’t quite looked like himself even when he’s been supposedly healthy. Though he broke up Atlanta’s multi-participant no-hitter in the middle innings on Wednesday, he likely ends his postseason at an ineffectual 4-for-34, a far cry from his typical contributions.
Chris Taylor entered at third base in his stead for the remainder of Wednesday’s Game 4, but far be it from us to have any idea who mans the position for what could be an elimination Game 5 Thursday night.
Already without Max Muncy, Clayton Kershaw and Dustin May (well prior to the playoffs), Los Angeles lost a bit more of its pedigree late in Wednesday’s disappointing outing.
Don’t give up hope, but joy is certainly fleeting right about now.