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Will big home run against Diamondbacks help Trea Turner turn his season around?

It’s been a rough start for Trea Turner, who was hearing the boos from Philadelphia fans during the first two months of the season.

PHILADELPHIA — Back in March, Philadelphia Phillies infielder Trea Turner had one of the best performances in World Baseball Classic history. He hit five home runs—which tied the WBC record—and drove in 11 runs for Team USA, including bashing two long balls in the championship game against Japan. It looked like Turner was primed for a huge 2023.

However, it has been a rough start for Trea Turner, who was hearing the boos from Philly fans during the first two months of the season, but especially lately while the team plays uneven baseball while sputtering to a 23-26 record.

But on Wednesday afternoon, with the Phillies down two runs in the ninth inning and on the verge of getting swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks and losing their eighth game in their last 10, Turner came up to the plate with a man on and two outs and hit the first pitch he saw from reliever Jose Ruiz into the seats to tie the game. After Craig Kimbrel set the Diamondbacks down in order in the top of the 10th, Alec Bohm hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the frame to win, 6-5.

On a happy and relieved edition of the Locked On Phillies podcast, host Connor Thomas discussed Turner’s role in the Phillies' much-needed comeback, walk-off win.

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“Trea Turner needed that in the worst way,” said Thomas. “He didn’t want to smile. His expression was stone cold as he was rounding third base. You just hit the biggest home run of your year so far. Your biggest home run in the Philadelphia Phillies uniform to this point, and you look like you just had a bad day at work.”

To be fair, Turner was being booed by a number of the fans in the stands all day because he was already 0-4 as he stepped into the box for his ninth-inning at-bat. So it’s understandable why Turner ran the bases the way he did.

It’s also Trea Turner’s way of operating.

On the previous episode of the podcast, Thomas discussed Turner’s slow start to the season and mentioned an article in The Athletic that revealed just how hard Turner is on himself, so while he was happy about the home run, Turner was probably unhappy with how he was only 1-5 on the day (and 2-20 during the homestand) even if that one was a huge home run.

It’s how a lot of baseball players operate. And for Turner, the microscope is on him even more because of the contract he signed to be with the Phillies. In December, Turner and the Phillies agreed to an 11-year/$300M contract, and when you’re making that much money, more responsibility falls on your shoulders. Plus, Turner had the added stress of losing teammate Rhys Hoskins to a season-ending knee injury early in the season and had to deal with the absence of Bryce Harper in the early going of the season.

After the game, when Turner spoke with reporters, he revealed that he received a text from his mom telling him she was booing him before he hit the home run. “She actually texted me and said, 'Good game, except for your fourth at-bat.' I said, 'Yeah, not a good one,' and she said, 'I was booing you.' She's one of the reasons why I'm here."

And while Alec Bohm was the hero of Wednesday’s win, Trea Turner was the one who made Bohm’s moment possible. It was a big moment for Turner. It was his fifth home run of the season, and his 12th and 13th runs batted in on the season. Remember the numbers from the WBC? It’s taken him until almost June to match them.

So, can this be the hit that turns things around for Turner? Sometimes all it takes is one hit to get a guy going, and it would be beneficial to both the Phillies and Turner if this could be the one because things are about to get exponentially more difficult for Philadelphia as they’re heading on the road to their NL East division rival Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, and Washington Nationals for 10 games.

BE SURE to listen and subscribe to Locked On Phillies wherever you get your podcasts! 

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