Justin Turner's postseason dominance has surpassed Babe Ruth's in one category

Mark TownsendYahoo Sports Contributor
Big League Stew

Justin Turner and his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates didn’t have much to celebrate on Wednesday night. With a chance to earn their first trip to the World Series since 1988 within reach, they fell to the Chicago Cubs 3-2 in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series.

Still, it was a good night for Turner on a personal level. The veteran infielder reached base in each of his four plate appearances, including an eighth-inning home run, a single and two walks. In doing so, he raised his career postseason on-base percentage to a staggering .495. And now that he’s reached 101 postseason plate appearances, we can truly recognize him as the all-time postseason leader in that often overlooked category.

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Your eyes do not deceive you. The red hot Turner is looking down on everyone, Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth included. And though his stay there might prove to be a short one — the Dodgers could play anywhere from three to 10 games yet this postseason — it’s remarkable just to see his name in that company.

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner hits a home run during Game 4 of the NLCS. (AP)
Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner hits a home run during Game 4 of the NLCS. (AP)

Turner’s not just reaching base either. He’s done some pretty serious damage along the way. He drove in all four runs in the Dodgers NLCS Game 2 win against Chicago. That was capped by his dramatic three-run walk-off homer.  He smacked a three-run homer and drove in five runs against Arizona in Game 1 of the NLDS.

Those are big time hits.

Overall, Turner is hitting .378 with five homers and 23 RBIs in just 25 career postseason games. Beyond that, he’s failed to reach base in just three of those postseason games. Two of those came as a pinch hitter for the Dodgers in 2014.

The stats are crazy, but don’t confuse that for surprising. It’s far from surprising. Turner has developed into one of the game’s best pure hitters since joining Los Angeles in 2014. Over the last four seasons he’s hitting .303/.378/.502 with an average of 18 homers and 66 RBIs. He’s a terrific hitter, but he’s carving out an even stronger postseason legacy.

If the Dodgers finish off the Cubs and go on to win the World Series, Turner has a really good chance of cementing that legacy even further.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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