If the Los Angeles Dodgers are going to rally past the Atlanta Braves and successfully defend their World Series crown, they are going to do so without the services of one of their most important players.
Manager Dave Roberts confirmed after Wednesday's 9-2 Game 4 loss to the Braves that Justin Turner has a Grade 2 hamstring strain that will likely keep him out for the remainder of the playoffs.
“Early indication is it’s a Grade 2 (strain), so I think that will be it for him,” Roberts said.
The all-star third baseman aggravated the injury running to first base after grounding into an inning-ending double play in the seventh Wednesday. He was very clearly distressed while favouring his left leg and grimacing in severe pain. He missed some games late in the regular season with a strain to the same hamstring.
The 2020 World Series MVP hit .278/.361/.471 with 27 home runs in 151 games this season but struggled in the playoffs while dealing with a lingering neck issue that kept him out of the starting lineup in Game 2 of the NLCS. He will join fellow stars Clayton Kershaw and Max Muncy on the sidelines as the Dodgers fight through an injury bug at the most important time of the season.
Roberts said Turner will be replaced on the roster by another position player but that he and his staff had not yet decided on who that would be. Chris Taylor finished the game at third Wednesday and is likely to start at that position in Thursday's must-win Game 5.
“I feel bad for Justin. JT is a warrior. Obviously you can see him walking off the field, it’s a hamstring (injury),” outfielder AJ Pollock said post-game. “You never want to see your teammate go down. He’s given everything he’s got.”
The Braves lead the Dodgers 3-1 in the NLCS and can advance to the World Series with a win in Game 5 Thursday night. First pitch is scheduled for 8:08 p.m. ET/ 5:08 p.m. PT on Sportsnet ONE and SN NOW.