Washington Nationals on the brink after Game 3 loss
By Ron Juckett
When everyone struggles, singling out one player is tough. But, Trea Turner is 0-for-12 with five strikeouts after another 0-for-4 afternoon.
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Turner’s slump is crucial. Because he is not forcing his way on base, Chicago pitchers can attack Bryce Harper without fear of a big inning. Although runs are tight—15 combined for both teams—Harper cannot pound you with the bases empty.
Cubs pitchers have made Turner goofy at the plate. He has no idea what they are throwing and is not slowing the tempo down to figure it out. His inability to draw walks or even try to bunt for a hit hurts the Nats.
To his credit, Turner saw 20 pitches and was robbed of a single in the eighth. There might be hope for Game 4 yet.
Still, he is a game changer. Turner’s ability to turn a walk into a double changes the complexion of the game and how the Cubs challenge the heart of Washington’s lineup. Along with Wieters, Turner’s status as an automatic out shuts down a rally before one can start.
Shouts of start Wilmer Difo echo through social media. A bad start by Turner in Game 4 and fans will get their wish. Turner must spark the offense or have a long winter to think things over.
Next: Harper's leadership emerges
Those jump throws from short need to stop too. You are begging for an error.