As the Washington Nationals head to October, Trea Turner keeps finding his way on base at a consistent rate
This week, Trea Turner has been in a groove for the Washington Nationals at the plate. He continues to find his way on base at an alarming rate. At one point last night, he had reached base in eight straight appearances before striking out in the seventh.
It took Turner a while to find his rhythm again after he missed about two months with a broken wrist. But, the young shortstop is back in full force again. He has four multi-hit performances in the last ten days and has six hits in his last ten at-bats.
If you stretch that sample size out to the month of September, this has arguably been Turner’s second best month of the season. His 29 hits are only five less than he had in the entire month of June (34). He has eight doubles, four home runs, and 12 RBI’s in 25 games.
With all the big bats the Nats have in their lineup, Turner’s great September is actually among some of the best in the game. For example, he is tied for ninth this month in the entire National League in hits. If you go by stolen bases, only one player has stolen more bases than the eight he has this month (Dee Gordon has 10).
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Every player wants to be hitting their stride heading into the postseason and sometimes that four day break in between the last regular season game and first playoff can make an impact on a player’s timing. However, for Turner, the key for him is going to be just to get on base and spark this offense.
Now, this September doesn’t compare to the great September Turner had a season ago. In 2016, he had a .330/.358/.591 slash line with seven home runs, 16 RBI’s, and 13 stolen bases. He did have seven hits and two stolen bases in the NLDS, but never had an extra-base hit.
The key for Turner Is going to be pitch selection and not trying to do much when he gets to the plate. Last postseason, you can tell Turner wanted to swing early and that isn’t the best strategy for a leadoff hitter. This month, no player has seen more pitches on the Nats than Turner (395).
While Turner won’t be able to run on Miguel Montero this postseason, he did have seven stolen bases against the Cubs this year, which is the most he has had against any opponent. If Turner can find a way to grab a base against Willson Contreras, those small things can impact a postseason game.
Right now, Turner is finding his form and is back to being that dynamic player that can spark this offense deep into October.