Derek Jeter moves up on hits, runs scored lists

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By tripling and coming around to score in the first inning of Thursday’s game against the A’s, Derek Jeter moved up one more notch on both the all-time hits and runs scored lists.

Jeter’s hit was his 3,056th, pushing him past Rickey Henderson into 21st place.  He’s already moved up seven places since reaching 3,000 last month, and he’ll slide up one more within a few days when he passes Craig Biggio with his 3,061st hit.  Further progress will likely have to wait until next year; Dave Winfield sits in 19th place with 3,110 hits.

The run scored was his 1,752nd, breaking a tie with Jimmie Foxx for, once again, 21st place.  He should pass Charlie Gehringer at 1,774 and move into 20th place later this year.

While Jeter is the current active leader in hits, he’s second in runs scored behind teammate Alex Rodriguez at 1,810.  A-Rod is in 17th place and should pass Carl Yastrzemski, Eddie Collins and Frank Robinson on the list with a healthy final five weeks.

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.