WASHINGTON — With 15 steals going into Friday night’s game, Trea Turner matched the Baltimore Orioles’ entire production for the 2016 season. He did it in just 38 games.
For Washington Nationals skipper Dusty Baker, it’s not so much how Turner has dealt with the success, as much as how he dealt with a night of disappointment on the basepaths earlier this week.
Since first getting caught stealing on August 6 vs. the San Francisco Giants, Turner had successfully stolen six consecutive bases, twice stealing a pair in one game. Yet on Tuesday, Turner was gunned down in two attempts, both times needing replay to confirm bang-bang plays.
“It’s frustrating for Trea, but I was glad Trea did try a second time and not get shut down because he got thrown out one time,” Baker told the media. “He had the bags but the throws were inside the line.”
It’s clearly that the evening did little to undermine the confidence that the team has placed in Turner to swipe bags successfully.
“It’s called stealing. Like I said before, you’re going to get caught sometimes but I urge him to run,” Baker said. “They’re not going to throw him out that often.”
A fact that Turner proved on Friday night, with just the threat of stealing
In his second at-bat, he hit an infield single, advanced to second on an error, advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt, and scored on a Daniel Murphy fielder’s choice.
In his fourth at-bat, he hit another infield single, stole second and advanced to third on a failed throw to second. He would score on a Jayson Werth double.
By reputation and action, Turner forced his will with another stolen base, plus all three errors on the Colorado Rockies defense. He also get on base with infield hits and single-handedly got himself to third base, creating scoring opportunities for the players behind him in the lineup.
This is just the reputation that Turner is earning in his own clubhouse and around the league.
“This is a young man that’s very determined,” Baker told the media earlier this week. “Failure doesn’t exist with him evidently.
“You got to give him credit for having some gumption and having some fight.”