LOS ANGELES — Justin Turner is banged up, but the Dodgers are planning on his availability to start Game 3 of the NLCS on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.
The All-Star third baseman snapped a streak of 77 straight postseason starts Sunday — he has been bothered by neck soreness — but entered as a pinch hitter and was hit by a pitch. Turner also dealt with recent hamstring issues.
“With all that he’s gone through, it certainly hasn’t been easy, and it’s certainly been a grind,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Monday before an optional team workout. “But I think that he’s just so mentally tough to kind of get through it all to be present and to put his best foot forth in a particular game.
“[Sunday] night’s game, I just didn’t think he was capable. But I think that kind of layering everything in, the hamstring, the hit by pitches, the neck, I think he’ll be in a really good spot to help us win the ballgame [Tuesday].”
Turner homered in the Dodgers’ wild-card game victory over the Cardinals, but is 3-for-28 (.107) overall this postseason.
Roberts is still toying with his starting pitching alignment, but this much appears certain: Max Scherzer won’t start again until a potential Game 6 back in Atlanta.
The right-hander battled fatigue on Sunday, when he was removed after 4 ¹/₃ innings. The Dodgers have Walker Buehler set to pitch on full rest Tuesday and then have to decide whether to start Julio Urias on Wednesday or go with a bullpen game. Roberts said either Wednesday or Thursday would be a bullpen game. The lefty Urias pitched one inning in relief on Sunday, allowing two runs.
“We’re going to go back to Atlanta and we’ll have Max ready for Game 6, but right now our focus just has to be [Tuesday] and winning and whatever that takes and we’ll deal with Game 4 then,” Roberts said.
Joc Pederson’s pearl necklace worn outside his uniform jersey has received attention this offseason. It’s a fashion statement even an old-school type such as Braves manager Brian Snitker can embrace.
“Was I raised like that in the game? No,” Snitker said. “But these guys are a different generation. They are going to have fun playing baseball, and what a novel idea — to do that and you are not hurting anybody. I’m fine with it … I’m not going to wear them.”