Performance Review: Turner gets the job done with 2 outs

Last night in the first inning with the bases loaded , Justin Turner delivered a two out, two-run single off Andy Pettitte to score the Mets’ first two runs of the game.

The hit improved Turner’s average with runners in scoring position to .444 (8-for-18). He now has 11 RBI in those spots. With two outs and runners in scoring position, Turner is hitting .500 (6-for-12) with 8 RBI.

“I’ve been answering those questions about him for two years since he got to the Big Leagues,” said Collins, when asked why he thinks Turner has been so successful in big spots. “He gets big hits. All he wants to do is put a decent swing on the ball. He doesn’t try to hit it too hard, he doesn’t try to pull it. He tries to take what the pitcher does and he’ll take singles.”

Overall in 36 games, Turner is hitting .267 with no homers, 12 RBI and a .317 on-base percentage.

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Brian Erni: Often times, players can get a label as a “clutch” player based on an anecdotal evaluation. That is, you remember a hit or two the player has gotten in a big spot, and they get labeled clutch. But with Turner, the stats seem accurately reflect the label. He is a career .344 hitter with RISP, and a career .371 hitter with two outs and RISP. In, what Baseball Reference calls “high leverage” situations, he’s a .380 hitter over the course of his four seasons in the Majors, and this year, that number is at .600 (6-for-10) with 9 RBI.

I agree with Terry. Turner puts himself in a situation to succeed in these spots thanks to a short, quick swing. This approach was on full display before Turner sprained his ankle, and now that he’s back, he’s picking up right where he left off. With men on base, he looks to just use the middle of the field and get good extension on a ball that’s middle-out. It’s refreshing to see a player go up and resist the temptation to muscle up in these spots. As a result of this success, it has made Turner an indispensable piece of this bench. I wouldn’t be surprised it he got rewarded with another start when C.C. Sabathia climbs the hill Sunday night.