And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Mets 5, Diamondbacks 4: Arizona took two leads in this game: a 3-0 lead they held for most of it and then, after the Mets tied it in the ninth, a 4-3 lead in the 13th. The ultimate rally was capped with Andrew Brown’s two-run single. The best part of that, though: Kirk Gibson ordered an intentional walk to John Buck before that. John Buck who SCORED THE WINNING RUN. John Buck who was 0 for 4 at that point. John Buck who is hitting .205. Any time you can put the winning run on base, you totally gotta do that, right? I think that’s in the grit handbook.

Yankees 10, Twins 4: Andy Pettitte, who has admitted to using performance enhancing drugs, passed Whitey Ford, who is well known for doctoring baseballs, for the Yankees all-time strikeout record. Two homers for Robinson Cano, as the Yankees snap their five-game losing streak.

Nationals 10, Brewers 5: Bryce Harper came back from the DL and smacked a homer on the second pitch he saw. Jayson Werth had the bigger bat, though, driving in five. Jordan Zimmermann won his 12th and had three hits of his own.

Blue Jays 8, Tigers 3: A happy Canada Day it was, eh, as the Jays topped the Tigers behind R.A. Dickey’s seven innings of two-run ball. Detroit fel behind by five runs and any hopes they had of coming back were crushed when Mark DeRosa hit a three-run bomb.

Reds 8, Giants 1: It has rained in Ohio for a week straight, so no real surprise this one was rain-shortened. Mercifully so, really. Giants pitcher Michael Kickham: not exactly the answer to San Francisco’s rotation problems. He has started three times, two of them have gone shorter than three innings and, in order, he has given up 4, 5 and 7 runs on 4, 8 and 9 hits, respectively.

Rays 12, Astros 0: The bottom third of the Rays order went 9 for 15 with six RBI. Matt Moore tossed seven two-hit shutout innings for his 11th win.

Marlins 4, Padres 0: Jose Fernandez topped Moore, tossing eight two-hit shutout innings and fanning ten. All four of the Marlins runs were unearned.

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.