Victor Martinez collects three hits, three RBI in third straight

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Victor Martinez has been red-hot since coming off the disabled list on May 5 and particularly so this week.  In Wednesday’s win over the Twins, he had three hits and three RBI for the third straight game, making him only the 11th player to accompish such a feat in the last 30 years.

The others:

Mike Greenwell (Red Sox) – June 19-21, 1988
Robin Ventura (White Sox) – Aug. 2-5, 1992
Joe Carter (Blue Jays) – May 16-18, 1994
Cal Ripken Jr. (Orioles) – Sept. 21-23, 1995
Steve Finley (Diamondbacks) – June 1-4, 1999
Kevin Millar (Marlins) – June 30-July 3, 1999
Jeff DaVanon (Angels) – June 1-4, 2003
Alfonso Soriano (Rangers) – May 4-7, 2005
Cody Ross (Marlins) – July 4-7, 2008
Hanley Ramirez (Marlins) – May 1-4, 2010

Martinez went 9-for-12 with two homers, 10 RBI and three walks during the stretch, which isn’t quite as impressive as some of the competition.

Finley had the highest OPS over the three games, a 2.598 mark for going 11-for-14 with three doubles, a triple and three homers. DaVanon had a whopping six homers in his three games, while Soriano had five. Ross had the next-to-worst OPS of the 11, but he topped everyone else here with 14 RBI.

Martinez will get a day off Thursday before attempting to extend the streak Friday against Luke Hochevar and the Royals.

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.