There is, apparently, a dispute in Trea Turner’s family about who the speed he inherited comes from.
There is a Twitter account tied to his mom with a bio which declares in no uncertain terms, “He gets his speed from me.”
But not everyone agrees.
“My mom’s side of the family claims it,” Turner, who turned 28 on Wednesday, and hit for the cycle for third time in his career, told reporters after a 15-6 win over Tampa Bay’s Rays in the nation’s capital.
“My dad claims he was fast. Everybody likes to claim it. My grandpa called himself my speed coach, so I don’t know, I guess I got to give a little bit of credit to everybody. I’m guessing it’s just genetics, but at times I’ve had to work at it in my life, and try to gain some muscle and speed, and I guess I’m blessed in that category, to have gotten a lot of it from them, and I’ll let you ask them ‘cause they’ll all fight over it, I don’t want to pick sides.”
Turner’s speed was once again a topic of discussion because he’d just raced quickly around the bases on a line drive to right to complete the cycle with his second triple of 2021. He hit a single the first time up, on a line drive to center, doubled the second time up, on a liner to left, homered to right-center in his third trip to the plate, and then tripled to right, lining one into the corner and racing out of the box with a determined attempt to make it to third base ahead of the throw in, which he did.
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Stolen bease (2nd)
Stolen bease (3rd)
Run scored, obviously
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“I’m thinking triple out of the box and just hoping that [Rays’ right fielder Manuel Margot] doesn’t pick it up right away and get it in before I usually make my decision,” Turner said, giving a play-by-play run through his triple.
“I try to keep my eyes up and watch the ball as long as I can and usually somewhere close to second base I kind of determine whether I think I can go to third or not, and the way I saw the ball bounce, I thought I had a good shot at it, so I kind of just always keep my eyes open, and if you don’t run hard out of the box you’re probably not going to get a triple anyways, so kind of [thinking triple] from the start.”
His teammates were watching intently from the dugout as he motored around the bases.
“Everybody was standing up,” manager Davey Martinez said.
“They were all practically wanting to go on the field, and when he was safe there was a loud cheer. Man, one, I love watching him run. For me, a triple is like so exciting in the game, and to watch Trea turn on the burners like he does, it was really amazing.”
Before the at bat, Martinez and bench coach Tim Bogar, knowing that he was a three-base hit away from the third cycle of his career, told Turner to just go for it if he had a shot.
“Bogie sat there and we were talking,” Martinez said, “... and Bogie told him, and I agreed, I said, ‘Hey, if the ball goes in the gap, you do not stop at second, just keep on trucking, and it couldn’t have worked out any better.”
Actually, it would have worked out better if Turner didn’t jam his finger sliding headfirst into third base.
“Trea Turner jammed his left middle finger, he’s going to be day-to-day, he jammed it pretty good, he’ll be day-to-day, so we’ll see how he feels tomorrow,” Martinez said after the game.
“Yeah, it’s pretty sore,” Turner said, “just kind of a little bad luck in the sense of just jamming it.”
Turner started thinking he might be able to hit for the cycle again after he homered in his third at bat, connecting for his third homer in the last four games and 14th HR of the 2021 campaign.
“After the home run, I think guys always do it to me,” he said, “especially being a speed guy, when you’re a triple away from the cycle I feel like they mention it to you, this and that, and when you’re replaying your at bats in your head and preparing for your next one, how they pitch you and this and that, you kind of put it together, so I knew I was one hit away, but it’s a matter of getting pitches in the zone and just kind of getting lucky. I’ve said it in the past, that I think cycles are a little bit lucky.
“Obviously you’ve got to hit the ball well, which takes skill and whatnot, but just hitting the right hits at the right time is a little bit of luck, so I got lucky today.”
“Watching him run like that,” his manager said, “it’s truly incredible. He gets around those bases pretty fast, he’s got that extra gear, and when he turns it on, he’s scootin’.”
The fact that he’s now hit for the cycle for a third time, Martinez said, is, “just a testament to what a good hitter he is.”
“I’ve said this before, when he’s going good, you saw it today, he hit a home run right-center field, he drove a ball to right field, hit a bullet to right field, then he hit a double down the left field line. When he’s going good there’s no telling where he can hit the ball and hit the ball with power.”
Turner’s take on the significance of tying the MLB record for career cycles, and joining a list that includes only Adrian Beltre, Babe Herman, Bob Meusel, and Long John Reilly?
“I don’t know if there’s significance. I just think it’s a good day at the plate,” Turner said.
“You’ve got to hit the ball well, usually you have to hit it to all parts of the field, which I did today as well, so had to hit multiple pitches, offspeed, fastball, so for me it’s not necessarily the cycle, but having four good at bats in a row or having a game worth of at bats that are good and put your team in a good position to score runs, and win the ballgame.”
But hitting for the cycle three times? It’s really a rare accomplishment.
“Yeah, I mean, I think it’s luck,” Turner reiterated. “It’s, I guess having the right tools, you got to be able to hit for power and at least have some speed, unless you get lucky and an outfielder dives for a ball and you get a triple, but I remember when Adrian Beltre did it a while ago, I remember watching it and thinking it’s pretty interesting that he’s tied for the lead, with three, because you don’t picture him as a speed guy, but he was such a good hitter, he put the bat on the ball, he’s got 3,000 hits for a reason, so I think if you just have good at bats and are locked in for a day you can get the four that you need. I don’t know if it’s much more than that, like I said, you’ve got have good at bats, and you got to get lucky, but I guess I’m blessed to have done it three times, and hopefully more of these to come.”