Todd Frazier breaks up Hyun-Jin Ryu’s perfect game in the eighth inning

30 Comments

UPDATE: And so much for that. After a super-long bottom of the seventh inning in which the Dodgers scored three runs and Ryu reached on an error and ran the bases, Todd Frazier led off the top of the eighth inning with a double down the left field line to break up the perfect game.

9:52 p.m. ET: Josh Beckett tossed a no-hitter against the Phillies yesterday and now his teammate Hyun-Jin Ryu is working on some history of his own.

Ryu is perfect through seven innings this evening against the Reds at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The southpaw has been on cruise control, striking out seven batters while throwing 58 out of 82 pitches for strikes.

The Dodgers currently hold a 1-0 lead. They scored an unearned run against Johnny Cueto in the third inning thanks to an error by first baseman Todd Frazier.

Stay tuned to see if Ryu can complete the 24th perfect game in MLB history. By the way, no team has ever had no-hitters in back-to-back games. That could change tonight.

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
5 Comments

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.