Aubrey Huff lands on DL after perfect game celebration

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The unforeseen consqeunce of the rise of no-hitters and perfect games throughout baseball; the simultaneous rise of celebration-related injuries.

Two weeks after Mets reliever Ramon Ramirez was hurt following Johan Santana’s no-hitter, Aubrey Huff has joined him on the disabled list with a knee injury sustained celebrating Matt Cain’s perfect game Wednesday night.

An MRI on Huff’s knee Thursday revealed a sprained right knee that was expected to keep him out at least several days. As poorly as he’s hitting, there wasn’t much reason for the Giants to play a man short while waiting on his return. Huff is hitting just .155 with one homer and five RBI in 58 at-bats this season.

Called up in his place was veteran outfielder Justin Christian, who was hitting .364/.432/.540 in 250 at-bats for Triple-A Fresno. The Giants bypassed the recently demoted Brett Pill, suggesting that they’ll commit to Brandon Belt at first base for at least the next couple of weeks. After going nearly 2 1/2 months without one, Belt has homered in three straight games.

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.