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Watch: Giancarlo Stanton clubs his 40th home run

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Giancarlo Stanton unleashed his 40th home run of the season on Friday night, a new career high mark and about two home runs shy of a new franchise record, too. The milestone blast came in the sixth inning of the Marlins’ 6-3 showstopper against the Rockies, kicking off a late-game rally that shifted Colorado to a mere half-game lead in the National League wild card standings.

Per Statcast, Stanton muscled the ball an estimated 433 feet to center field. The solo shot marked his seventh homer in his last 10 games; with just two more, he’ll tie Gary Sheffield for most single-season home runs in the Marlins’ 25-year history. Sheffield hit the mark in 1996 on a fifth-inning pitch off of the Expos’ Mark Leiter.

Stanton wasn’t the only one to collect a milestone hit during the Marlins’ win, either. Nolan Arenado took Jose Urena deep with a two-run shot in the third inning, plating Charlie Blackmon for his 100th RBI of the season. He’s the first player to reach 100 RBI in 2017 and has now collected at least 100 RBI in each of his last three seasons.

The Marlins completed their rally with a J.T. Realmuto sac fly, Derek Dietrich RBI single and Tomas Telis two-run triple, earning their 54th win of the year and scooting the Rockies a full 16.5 games back of the NL West-leading Dodgers. They currently rank second in the NL East, but sit 14.5 games behind the Nationals and an even 10 games back of a wild card berth.

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.