Justin Turner enjoyed his every stride, following the celebrated tour of Kirk Gibson at Dodger Stadium nearly three decades ago.
Born in Southern California, Turner knows the story by heart.
On the 29th anniversary of Gibson’s iconic pinch-hitting home run that rocked Oakland in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, Turner added another iconic hit to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ postseason annals.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, the red-haired slugger hit a three-run homer and the Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 4-1 to take a 2-0 lead in the League championship series. National.
“One of my first baseball memories was that I was at my grandmother’s house watching that game in ’88 and seeing ‘Gibby’ hit that home run,” who was then about to turn four years old. “So it feels amazing. It made me want to shake my fist around the bases, but we’re going to wait until we get to the World Series, hopefully. “
The Dodgers are two wins away from it, after Turner drove in all four runs in Game 2, keeping Los Angeles undefeated this postseason.
Turner’s first RBI was with a single on the opposite side that tied the game, and then with a home run that was sent off center off pitcher John Lackey in the final inning.
To cap off the poetics of the moment, a fan wearing a blue Dodgers shirt masterfully managed to catch the ball near a railing.
“It was a very special moment and I was discussing it with JT (Turner’s initials) after the game,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “Just on the day of 29 years.”
Another generation of Dodgers fans can already treasure their own momentous home run, and these Dodgers are beginning to throb that they will finally be able to contest their first World Series since 1988.
Turner was greeted at the plate by another platoon of ecstatic teammates, as Gibson was.
But unlike Gibson, Turner took off his helmet in third place, showing off his reddish hair.
What’s not to be enjoyed? ”Turner wondered. “We have a chance to give Los Angeles a championship. It has been a long time ”.
Game 3 will be played Tuesday night at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The team that wins four out of seven matches will win.
Yu Darvish, acquired by the Dodgers midseason, will start against Kyle Hendricks.
Yasiel Puig received his third walk of the game opening the ninth, and Charlie Culberson gave a sacrifice bunt for the Cuban to advance to second base. After defeated pitcher Brian Duensing struck out pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer, Chicago manager Joe Maddon decided to bring in Lackey, the 38-year-old right-hander who pitched in a row for the first time in his 15-year career.
After receiving the call in place of star closer Wade Davis, Lackey ticketed Chris Taylor.
Maddon explained that he preferred to reserve Davis for a possible save on the road, and that Lackey would have thrown in the 10th as well if the Cubs weren’t leading.
“We don’t have anybody with wide dominance against Turner, so it was something that didn’t work out,” Maddon said.
Addison Russell homered in the fifth for the Cubs, down in this reissue of last year’s championship series. Chicago won it in six games after a division of victories in the first two.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen took the win with a hitless ninth innings. But he hit Anthony Rizzo with an out pitch, ending an impressive streak for the Los Angeles bullpen by retiring 22 straight batters from the Dodgers at the start of the series.
Jon Lester allowed three hits and five walks, unable to pitch beyond the fifth inning. It was the shortest outing for the left-hander in a long career in the postseason.
Rich Hill struck out eight in five excellent innings for the Dodgers, but the left-handed starter was pulled for Curtis Granderson to pinch-hit in the fifth.
For the Cubs, Willson Contreras 4-0.
For the Dodgers, Puerto Rican Enrique Hernández 1-0.