Washington Nationals: Clutch home runs keep NLDS hopes alive
By Ricky Keeler
Turner still looks lost at plate
The biggest concern on the Washington Nationals heading to Wrigley Field is the play of Trea Turner. Instead of being the sparkplug for the offense, Turner has been unable to reach base and for the first 16 innings of the series, that had to play a role in the offense’s struggles.
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In the first two games, Turner is 0-for-8 with four strikeouts. Yesterday, it looked like the shortstop was guessing on pitches and guessing wrong. One situation came in the eighth when Edwards Jr. bounced a couple of curveballs, but Turner was chasing all the way.
Three innings before that, Turner had a chance to get his first hit of the series when he came up with the bases loaded, two outs, and the Nats down by two against Lester. After Lester walked the two batters before him, Turner struck out swinging and chased a pitch way outside the zone.
Fortunately, for the Washington Nationals, Turner’s struggles on offense haven’t affected his defense. But, this isn’t his first postseason. The question is whether or not he is trying to press at the plate as part of the playoff pressure, which is normal.
If Turner can get a bunt hit or even an infield single, that might get him on the right track. Remember, he did have seven hits in the final four games of last year’s NLDS against the Dodgers after a hitless Game 1.
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Turner has yet to make an impact on this series with his speed and the Nats don’t have many other starters who can change a game on this series. If the team is going to win this series, they are going to need Turner to spark the offense at Wrigley Field Monday and Tuesday.