The Los Angeles Dodgers were one out away from being swept by the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday, but a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning was capped-off with a walk-off double from Gavin Lux, thanks in part to teammate Justin Turner.
After Lux allowed a routine ground ball to roll under his glove in the third inning that brought in a run, the Phillies followed it up with consecutive hits that extended their lead to 4-0. The Dodgers cut into their deficit with a solo homer from Mookie Betts in the bottom half of the third inning, and a Max Muncy single brought in another run in the fourth.
During the game, Turner had noticed something in Lux’s pre-pitch setup and brought it to his attention, which had much to do with his walk-off hit.
“J.T. actually spotted something really good. When I was going good I was 60/40 in my setup, and he spotted it,” Lux revealed. “And he was like, ‘Hey, you’re a little more 50/50, so you’re shifting and your head’s kind of all over the place.’
“So he actually spotted that after my second at-bat and I tried to take that adjustment in the next two and got better results. So J.T. honestly helped me a lot there.”
There might not be a better story of completely revamping themselves as a player than what Turner has done after signing with the Dodgers and becoming a franchise legend, but words from a veteran hitter allowed Lux to understand how difficult it is to make adjustments in crucial game situations.
“I think for me, it was kind of a familiar feeling. As soon as I kind of got in the on-deck circle, trying to feel it out. I was like, ‘Yeah, that feels right,'” Lux explained of taking Turner’s advice and making an in-game adjustment.
“So obviously over the course of 162 games, things are going to feel off, feel different and it’s just about making continuous adjustments. So J.T. spotted that and that helped me a lot honestly, just seeing the pitches.”
The walk-off hit was the first of Lux’s career and even he forgot his swing had ended the game until his teammates began to run on the field to celebrate him after rounding second.
Lux leaned on advice from Turner and Chase Utley
After batting .360/.467/.500 with four extra-base hits and nine RBI over his final 17 games of the 2021 regular season, Lux remembered words given to him by Turner and Chase Utley.
“Going into the playoffs in 2019, J.T. pulled me aside, and Chase Utley was in there too, and he was just like, ‘Every time you step up in the box try to have that feeling that you’re 4-for-4,” Lux said last year.
“That’s like the best feeling you can have if you’re a hitter. Going up there 4-for-4, there’s no pressure. You feel good. So that’s kind of the best take of advice I’ve gotten from anybody, I think, going into the playoffs.”
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