The Los Angeles Dodgers lineup features a bevy of All-Stars and arguably the best combination of first three batters in Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Trea Turner.
However, Betts was recently placed on the 10-day injured list after sustaining a rib fracture as a result of colliding with Cody Bellinger. The 2018 American League MVP hopes to make a return in two weeks or so.
In the meantime, the Dodgers’ other stars will look to replace Betts’ production. Tuesday’s matchup against the Cincinnati Reds was a good start as Freeman tallied a game-high five RBI and Turner recorded four hits in an 8-2 win at Great American Ball Park.
After extending his hitting streak to 13 games, Turner helped set up Freeman’s bases-clearing triple in the eighth inning by reaching on an infield single. It was one of several instances in which L.A. benefitted from playing small ball.
Turner believes the Dodgers need to do more of that to consistently win games, via Juan Toribio of MLB.com:
“Small things like that are really good,” Turner said. “I think that’s what this lineup is about, is guys doing their job. And we got a lot of really good players, but sometimes we’re gonna have to do small things to win ballgames.”
Justin Turner echoed a similar last season after the Dodgers dropped three consecutive games to the Miami Marlins. “I’ve said this many times. It doesn’t matter what we did last year, we’re the Dodgers, we always think we have a target on our back,” he said at the time.
“Doesn’t matter what anything says on paper, you still got to show up and play the game and do all the little things right. Like I said, we’re not doing all the little things right now and it seems like we’re paying for every little mistake that we make.”
Prior to Turner’s infield infield single, the Dodgers used a sacrifice bunt and sac fly to score a run. The sacrifice bunt — dropped down by Eddy Alvarez — was the Dodgers’ first this season.
Friedman: Dodgers focused on finding consistency
The Dodgers boast one of the deepest lineups in baseball, but they have struggled to consistently produce runs this season.
President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman recently noted the team is focused on finding consistency, and Tuesday’s offensive outburst against the Reds certainly was a step in the right direction.
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