Aaron Rowand suffers fractured cheek and concussion in beaning

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Aaron Rowand.jpgAaron Rowand sustained two small fractures in his cheekbone and a mild concussion after being hit in the helmet by Vicente Padilla during the fifth inning of Friday’s game against the Dodgers.

Padilla’s history as a headhunter is well-documented, of course, but he denied that he threw at Rowand intentionally, via Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.

“I threw inside and the pitch ran in on him. He
was right on the plate…”


“With that kind of lead, there was no reason for
me to start a conflict.

For what it’s worth, Giants manager Bruce Bochy doesn’t believe Padilla was in a situation where he would hit a batter intentionally, reports Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.

“In that situation, he’s in a jam,” Bochy said. “You’re always going to
wonder what the intent was. Certainly in that situation, that’s not when
a pitcher is going to hit somebody.”

Bochy said that he was unsure whether Rowand would require a stint on the disabled list, though it’s pretty hard to believe he’ll be able avoid it.
 

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

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A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.