Philadelphia Phillies fans might have actually fixed shortstop Trea Turner.
He has been playing his best baseball of the season over the past week after Phillies fans gave him a standing ovation in support following a dreadful series against the Miami Marlines. That series continued what has been an extremely disappointing season in his debut with the Phillies.
But instead of getting frustrated or excessively booing the $300 million man, they decided to cheer him on.
Turner has been a different player ever since and that continued on Thursday night against the Washington Nationals.
He extended his hitting streak to seven games — all seven games since the standing ovation — with his 12th home run of the season in the sixth inning of the Phillies’ 6-2 win.
Since getting that ovation, Turner is hitting .370 with two home runs, eight RBI, a walk and a stolen base.
It is a reminder of what Turner is capable of and how much of a game-changer he can be when he is playing at his best. The Phillies just have not seen it often enough this season.
Prior to joining the Phillies this past winter, he was one of the best middle infielders in baseball, possessing a rare combination of power and speed. Turner has consistently hit over .300 with an .800-plus OPS and more than 20 stolen bases per season throughout his prime. That level of production with the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers made him one of the most prized free agents this offseason and resulted in an 11-year, $300 million contract.
Turner’s overall numbers this season are well below what he is used to producing, but he might finally starting to be coming around. All it seemed to take was a little encouragement from one of the league’s toughest fan bases. If he can finish strong, it will give the Phillies another impact bat for what could be another extended postseason push.
The Phillies might really need Turner to keep rolling after first baseman Bryce Harper left Thursday’s game with a back injury.