Trea Turner went through a rough stretch at the plate between July 29th and August 9th, with just three hits and three walks in 32 plate appearances (.107/.188/.107) in that seven-game span, but he told reporters at the time that he felt good at the dish.
Turner connected for hits in each of the last two games with the Baltimore Orioles in D.C., however, then went 5 for 9 in the first two games of the current road trip in Citi Field, and hit home runs in both games.
“Finally kind of made the right adjustment a few games ago and started putting the barrel on the ball and feel a little better,” Turner said on August 11th.
“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.”
They started falling in for hits, and going into last night’s game with the O’s in Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the Washington Nationals’ 27-year-old infielder was 9 for 22 (.409/.458/.727) with a double, two home runs, and two walks in the club’s first five real road games on their 2020 schedule.
Turner added three more hits (3 for 4) and connected for his fourth home run in last night’s 7-3 loss.
“He’s starting to swing the bat really well,” Manager Davey Martinez said after the game.
“One thing I noticed with him,” Martinez noted, “is he’s starting to catch the ball out front a little bit more, which is kind of nice. He’s that kind of player. He’s the impact player that we all fall behind. This team, he’s the guy that makes us go, and he’s playing really well.”
Turner singled to center the first time up, then grounded into a double play in his second trip to the plate, but waited on a first-pitch curve from Asher Wojciechowski and hit it 416 feet to left field in his third at bat in OPACY.
“The first two at bats for me at least he didn’t really make any mistakes. I think I saw maybe six pitches and only one of them was in the middle of the zone, and that’s the base hit up the middle,” Turner told reporters after the loss.
“And then my second at bat, spotted up two breaking balls really low and got me to ground into a double play. Just felt like he was hitting his spots really well tonight, and we couldn’t get him into the middle of the plate, and still battled him, put a few runs up there, but he made some good pitches.”
Turner stuck with what he was doing even when the hits weren’t falling in because he felt good at the plate, in terms of the pitches he was swinging at and the contact he made.
Now he’s collected hits in seven of his last eight games, going 14 for 34 over that stretch.
“I just felt like I was doing the right thing and swinging at the right pitches and making the right decisions, but my body wasn’t in the best spot to square those balls up,” he said last night.
“So, like I said before, I felt good, I felt like I was seeing the pitches, I felt like I wanted to hit pitches I was swinging at, it was just a matter of not missing them. And like I said before, if you keep putting the ball in play, they’ll eventually find holes and this series I’ve hit the ball fairly hard and I’ve hit the ball pretty weak, and just starting to find holes and I guess getting a little lucky.”
Will the Nationals get lucky and win the series with the Orioles in today’s rubber match?
What will Turner do today in the finale with the Nats’ regional rivals?
HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR THE FINALE WITH THE ORIOLES:
NOTES: Clean up, Kurt Suzuki? Juan Soto (the team’s best hitter) batting second #optimizationmuch? Wilmer Difo at second? Michael A. Taylor giving Adam Eaton a break? This lineup is innerestin’...