The Los Angeles Dodgers haven’t done themselves any favors in needing to offset a patchwork starting rotation. Inconsistency has plagued several of the club’s key hitters and veterans, which has resulted in futile offensive performances.
Coming off a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies in which they scored just five runs and had 10 hits, the Dodgers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning Friday night. However, Johnny Cueto settled in and it provided the San Francisco Giants with enough time to tie the game in the sixth inning.
After allowing two runs in the first, Cueto blanked the Dodgers over the next seven frames. Their lone baserunner after the first inning came on a hit by pitch in the fifth.
However, the Dodgers fortunes quickly changed in the ninth inning with Santiago Casilla on the mound. Justin Turner led the inning off with a line-drive solo home run that just cleared the fence in left field to give the Dodgers a decided 3-2 lead.
After the victory, Turner discussed his unexpected struggles this season and keeping a positive outlook, via ESPN’s Doug Padilla:
“I feel like I’m taking great at-bats every night and just not getting the results,” Turner said. “It’s something where maybe three or four years ago, when I wasn’t as mature as I am now, or hadn’t had the success that I’ve had, it probably would be a lot tougher on me. I’m just trying to find the silver lining in the at-bats and take quality at-bats every time. Don’t worry about the results. It’s not something we can control. Just grind it out every night and see what happens.”
Turner was arguably the Dodgers’ best and most consistent batter during the 2015 regular season and National League Division Series. His participation in Spring Training was delayed due to offseason microfracture knee surgery, which may be some reason to blame for Turner’s slow start in 2016.
It should be noted Turner hasn’t used that as an excuse at any point. His home run was the second in three games, and fifth overall this season.
Turner is batting .221/.316/.349 with eight doubles, the five home runs and 21 RBIs. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently lauded Turner for his ability to reach base amid growing criticism over sticking with the third baseman in the three-hole of the lineup.