Trea Turner is 5 for 9 with two home runs in the first two games of the Nationals’ visit to the New York Mets’ home, and Washington’s leadoff hitter has a four-game hit streak going too, over which he’s 7 for 17, which follows an 0 for 18 stretch at the plate for the 27-year-old. So, small sample sizes and all, yes, but he’s looked good in recent at bats.
Turner told reporters after last night’s 2-1 win over the Nationals’ NL East rivals that some of the new rules during this pandemic season have taken some getting used to, but he’s been able to make early adjustments.
“I felt good in the box, and I feel like my approach was good,” Turner said of his early-season “struggles”, “but not having video is a little different, and I feel like in years past, I was pretty good at going back and checking out the swing real quick and making the little adjustment I need to make in-game, and early on I couldn’t do that, and I mean I obviously I still can’t do it, but finally kind of made the right adjustment a few games ago and started putting the barrel on the ball and feel a little better, so the last four or five games or so I feel like my contact has been a little bit stronger and it was just a matter of time for the hits to start to fall.”
Turner homered to lead off last night’s matchup with the Mets, giving the Nationals an early lead they never relinquished, and he sprinted into foul territory in left field in the ninth, and made an awkward sliding catch that impressed his manager.
“Trea is starting to play really well,” Davey Martinez said on his post game Zoom call. “We know he can do these kind of things. He’s a game-changer. That’s what we needed to get on the board early, it was nice, and that play that he made was incredible. We talk a lot about the shifting stuff, you know, and for me, you want that athlete to stay at shortstop.
“We try to keep him over there as much as possible, strictly because of those balls, those little fly balls. I can’t stand when we can’t get to those balls, because it’s an out, it’s a big out for our pitchers, especially late in the game. Tonight he got to that ball. I’m glad he’s okay, he said he’s okay. But he took a nice tumble there, but he’s doing well.”
A reporter asked Turner about the fact that the home run was really the first true opposite field home run of his career. He’s hit some to the right of center before, but it was straight right last night, into the corner off Mets’ starter Rick Porcello.
“I think it’s just swing path and pitch,” Turner said of his third home run of the 2020 season.
“I’ve hit a few balls to right-center out in certain stadiums,” he said, “and mostly probably at home, and I don’t know if those are opposite field, per se, they might be more center field.
“I just think when you’re facing righties, to hit an opposite field home run is fairly tough, and he just tried going that backdoor sinker, and I just felt like it was the right swing on the right pitch, and just keeping it fair and not slicing the ball I guess. I don’t have necessarily the oppo power that some of these big guys get, I usually have to pull them, but everyone once in a while if you get the right pitch on the right swing, it sneaks out. I’ll take it.”
Turner tries to make it five games in a row with a hit tonight, while the Nationals try to win their third straight in the third game of four in New York.