Dodgers third baseman has monster series, capped by clutch triple in finale
By Roger Schlueter
The Dodgers -- highlighted by a four-run seventh inning, a seven-batter appearance by Julio Urias and seven pitches from Clayton Kershaw in the final inning -- defeated the Nationals, 4-3, in Game 5 of the National League Division Series. They'll face the Cubs in the NL Championship Series starting Saturday (8 p.m. ET on FS1).
Here are three interesting items from Thursday. ...
• Justin Turner capped the Dodgers' four-run seventh with a two-run triple. The third baseman, who also reached via walk in Game 5, finished the series with a .400/.591/.733 slash line (6-for-15, a homer and a triple, five walks and two hit-by-pitches), and he led Los Angeles in runs, hits, RBIs, walks and total bases. Turner has reached safely at least twice in 10 straight postseason games -- the longest such streak in Dodgers history, and tied for the fourth-longest streak in MLB history. With his career Division Series slash line of .444/.545/.750 in 44 plate appearances, Turner ranks first in batting average, second in on-base percentage, fifth in slugging and third in OPS among all players in Division Series history with at least 36 plate appearances.
• In the Dodgers' big seventh inning, Joc Pederson tied the game at 1 with a solo homer, and pinch-hitter Carlos Ruiz contributed a go-ahead RBI single before Turner drove in a pair with a triple. Ruiz became the fourth player in postseason history to deliver a go-ahead pinch-hit in a winner-take-all affair. He joined the Twins' Gene Larkin (walk-off single in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series), the Braves' Francisco Cabrera (walk-off two-run single in Game 7 of the '92 NLCS) and the A's Alberto Callaspo (single in the 12th inning of the 2014 American League Wild Card Game).
• Dodgers lefty Julio Urias picked up the win after two innings of scoreless ball. Urias, at 20 years and 62 days old, became the fourth-youngest pitcher to make his postseason debut, following teenagers Ken Brett (19 years and 20 days old in Game 4 of the 1967 World Series), Bert Blyleven (19 years and 182 days old for Game 3 of the '70 ALCS) and Don Gullett (19 years and 271 days old for Game 2 of the '70 NLCS). Urias is the youngest pitcher to record a victory in a winner-take-all contest.
Roger Schlueter is a statistical researcher and writes for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.