Albany Times Union
Turner shines among stars
Phillies’ shortstop on tear that has him starring for U.S. team headed to final
MIAMI — Trea Turner arrived for his coronation Sunday night in a Team USA shirt with the sleeves ripped off, still wearing his game socks slid into Team USA flip-flops, carrying a can of Presidente.
He knew exactly where to go, having been required to sit for a news conference on Saturday night, too. That night, he hit a go-ahead grand slam that left him jumping for joy as he headed for first, a rare burst of emotion from a player so stoic he rarely watches even the most obvious home run balls for more than a few milliseconds before dropping his head to run them out.
Sunday, he hit two more homers and drove in four more runs in the United States’ 14-2 drubbing of Cuba in a World Baseball Classic semifinal. This time, he wasn’t the savior. After all, the Americans didn’t need to be saved against Cuba on Sunday. This time, he was something else. This time, he was the brightest star on a team full of superstars. This time, he was the center of attention — the hero, the guy.
“Early in this (tournament), me, J.T. (Realmuto) and (Kyle) Schwarber were talking about spring training numbers, and I haven’t hit a homer in spring training in like four or five years or something like that,” Turner said. “So it’s kind of funny how it works out, but I don’t ask questions.”
What Turner did not know about himself when he walked into that
room, however, was that he had just become the first player in WBC history to drive in at least four runs in backto-back games. He admitted he didn’t know he had just become the only American player to homer twice in a WBC game besides his Team USA hitting coach, Ken Griffey Jr.
“I can’t wait to tell him,” Turner said.