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Trea Turner is starting to hear frustration from Philadelphia fans about his slow start, and the star shortstop doesn’t blame them.
“I was honest with myself, I drank,” Turner said of the fight after the Phillies’ loss to the Diamondbacks.
It’s been less than two months since Turner signed an 11-year, $300 million deal last December, signing the two-time all-star with much fanfare. In an unlikely run to the 2022 World Series.
But the early returns were boring for Turner, who was hitting .256 with four home runs, 11 RBIs and a .693 OPS in 46 games. The former National League batting champion also has 56 strikeouts for a 26.9% strikeout rate in 208 plate appearances — more than his career high of 18.5%.
Turner’s struggles have been evident of late, hitting .211 with 38 hits in 120 plate appearances over his last 27 games. Fan frustration boiled over Sunday when Turner booed his teammates during a home win, and the Phillies fell to 22-25 as they lost for the sixth time in their last eight games.
Despite admitting it was “probably” the worst setback of his career, Turner said he’s trying to stay positive.
“Every at-bat, every game, every game is another day to try to do better and be the player that I know I am.” “If you sang Christmas yesterday, or if you sang Christmas at the last at-bat, a snowball will hit you, and you won’t be able to turn around.”
“So I’m honest with myself. I’m honest with myself, and I don’t lie to myself. I think I’m an honest person, I think I can always do better and I can always be better. That’s my attitude. But at the same time, I know I’m not doing something right.
Turner, 29, isn’t the only culprit when it comes to the Phillies’ offensive struggles. The NL champs entered Tuesday tied for 10th in the league in runs (201), while other veteran stars Kyle Schwarber and JT Rilmuto also got off to slow starts.
Turner, a career .299 hitter, said he needs to make better decisions in terms of pitch recognition and “decision-making,” but Phillies manager Rob Thompson said some of Turner’s recent at-bats were encouraging, saying, “It looks like it’s coming.”
“My first three at-bats [Sunday] And [Monday] They were mostly aggressive, saying, “It’s just consistency. If I think I can do that for four or five at-bats a day, then a week and a month, and then I feel a little better and more satisfied. But you just have to fight. … It’s all a decision. I feel like they’re givers. The pitching felt good for two, three weeks. But the decision-making took a hit.”