Your run-of-the-mill bad series against a division rival? It happens. Even teams as great as the Los Angeles Dodgers have been there.
But a team of All-Stars shooting themselves in the foot over and over again? And having to face questions about a lack of hustle after the series finale that completed the sweep? Unacceptable, you might say.
On the weekend, the Dodgers went 2-for-24 with runners in scoring position. They scored four runs across three games. They lost by one run on Saturday and two runs on Sunday. When games are that close and run production is scarce, you’d think there’s be an emphasis on awareness and fundamentals.
Dodgers star shortstop Trea Turner even brought that into question with his effort in the eighth inning. He was on first base with two outs and the Dodgers trailing 2-0. Pretty self-explanatory situation. You’re going full speed at the crack of the bat. Head down. Full of steam.
So when Justin Turner singled to right field and the ball got past Mike Yastrzemski on a failed diving attempt, you’d expect possibly the fastest baserunner in MLB to score.
Nope. Not even close. Turner was, for some reason, staring at the ball the entire way, never unleashed a full sprint, and bizarrely slowed down rounding second despite seeing Yastrzemski’s turf-eating dive.
Trea Turner’s lack of hustle and response to it was a bad look for the Dodgers
The caveat here? Turner was held at third. The rebuttal? Maybe he wouldn’t have been held had he been running with his head down and managed to top out at full speed as he rounded second.
Even worse? After the game when Turner was asked about the play in question, his response really seemed to drive home the fact that he wasn’t hustling and/or didn’t care!
The run isn’t that important? In a two-run game? With Chris Taylor coming to the plate as the go-ahead run? You don’t know why you’re being asked a question about baseball fundamentals in a tight game as your team looks to avoid the sweep against your most hated division rival?
Gotta read the room, man. There are plenty of empty/provocative questions asked by the media on a daily basis. This wasn’t one of them. The video evidence is there. Turner would’ve been better off admitting he didn’t know how many outs there were, because this is a much tougher pill for the fans to swallow, as the Dodgers have dropped nine of their last 13 with seemingly the same problems persisting over the last few weeks.