After losing yet another series to the Los Angeles Dodgers last weekend, the San Diego Padres got a chance at redemption at home this weekend. The Padres won game one, putting themselves in a good position to win the series against the Dodgers.
The final two games were more like the rest of the matchups between the two teams this season. Los Angeles made relatively quick work of San Diego, winning 8-4 and 11-2 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Fueling the offensive outburst for the Dodgers on Sunday was Justin Turner. The red-hot veteran went 2-4 with two home runs and five RBI. While his biggest hit of the game was his grand slam, the one that Dodger fans will enjoy more is his towering shot off of starter Joe Musgrove.
It was more than just a home run, though. It was the baseball equivalent of putting Musgrove on a poster, as Turner absolutely dunked on the San Diego native.
Turner is no stranger to hitting home runs against Musgrove and after hitting one earlier this season, Musgrove said in a postgame interview that Turner was not a threat. Pretty weird description for someone who is hitting .429 off of you, but that might just be me.
Joe Musgrove’s comments ended up igniting Justin Turner for the Dodgers.
At the time, yes, Turner was not faring well at the plate and definitely did seem like a weak point of the offense. Dodgers fans should actually be thanking Musgrove, as his comments completely flipped the script for Turner, who has looked more like his vintage self since. It’s clear they’re still floating around the Dodgers’ heads, too, considering that was Cody Bellinger’s immediate response to the Turner dinger.
In 44 games since those comments, Turner is hitting .371 with eight home runs and 40 RBI. To compare, Juan Soto is hitting .224 with three home runs and six RBI in 31 games since being traded to the Padres. No wonder why Padres fans booed him off the field earlier this week.
San Diego already shielded Sean Manaea after the Dodgers battered him last weekend, and it will be interesting to see if Bob Melvin does the same thing with Musgrove if these two teams face off in the playoffs.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are dealing with a lot of pitching injuries/issues. If these guys can step up, though, the postseason could be a smashing success.
If it is a big spot in the game with runners on base and Turner is coming to the plate, it might serve the Padres best to take Musgrove out of the game. Justin Turner might not be much of a threat, but he sure does seem to hit Musgrove pretty well.