Trea Turner was 0 for 2 on the night on Tuesday before he lined 3-2 breaking ball from Philadelphia Phillies’ righty Jerad Eichkoff to right for a two-out single. Danny Espinosa tried to score from second on the two-out hit but he was thrown out at home after a fairly brutal collision with catcher Cameron Rupp.
The hit for Turner, one of two he collected last night, extended the 23-year-old center fielder/infielder’s on-base streak to 20-straight games.
Heading into the matchup with Washington’s NL East rivals in Citizens Bank Park, the Nationals’ rookie infielder had a .341/.361/.538 line after 42 games, with nine doubles, six triples, five home runs and 17 steals in 20 attempts in the majors this season.
Over the course of what was a 19-game hit streak before last night, Turner had hits in 17 of 19, going 35 for 88 (.398 AVG) over that stretch, with five doubles, two triples, three HRs, nine steals and 21 runs scored.
On the month, Turner had 43 hits total before last night, a Nationals’ record (2005-present) for hits by a rookie in a single calendar month, and his two-hit game left him two shy of the overall franchise record for total hits in a month, set by Daniel Murphy earlier this season (47, May 2016).
Turner, who now has hits in 33 of 40 games in the second half, also set a franchise record last week with hits in eight straight plate appearances.
After the Nationals’ 3-2 win in the second of three with the Phillies, Dusty Baker talked to reporters about Turner’s contributions telling them he wasn’t really surprised by the fact that the Nats’ leadoff man kept collecting hits.
“You don’t expect it, but you accept it,” Baker said.
“He’s been playing a lot, he’s been playing every day throughout this 20 in-a-row streak, so I’ve got to give him a day off so he doesn’t wear down.”
“He doesn’t weigh much more than that pen there,” Baker joked, “so I’ve got to keep him strong cause he hasn’t played much in September, you know what I mean, in his career, and he definitely hasn’t played in October. I’ve got preserve him. I’ll probably give him tomorrow off, you know, cause I’m certainly not going to give it off in New York in that big series.”
So... a reporter asked, Baker planned to sit Turner with one game left in August and the franchise record for hits in a calendar month just two hits away?
“Which one supersedes which?” Baker asked rhetorically. “The franchise record or September and October?”
“If you ask him and the guys out there... I mean, records are fine — who knows he might get in the game and get two [hits] anyway, so I didn’t even know that, that’s not in my thinking. If it was going into today it would be a different story.”
Turner played 143 games total between Double-A in the San Diego Padres and Nats’ systems, Triple-A with the Nationals, and Washington last season, getting a 544 PAs total on the year.
Between Triple-A and the majors this season, Turner has played in 126 game total this season.
He doesn’t look tired, but a day off probably won’t hurt... right?
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