Trea Turner

‘Finally:' Trea Turner busts loose with 2-homer game vs. Tigers

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When the Phillies allowed themselves to think big, to dream extravagantly, to imagine their highest hopes in the months and weeks leading up to Opening Day, this is what they visualized from their lineup.

Trea Turner going 4-for-5 including two no-doubt about-it homers into the blue seats in left.

Bryce Harper getting a couple hits with an RBI and a run scored. In the imaginary version of his night, the long drive he hit wouldn’t have been robbed on a leaping catch at the wall by centerfielder Jake Marisnick in the first.

Nick Castellanos continuing to burnish his Comeback Player of the Year credentials by reaching base three times (single, double, walk), scoring once and driving a run home.

Kyle Schwarber, right on schedule, getting hot with two homers on Sunday and following that up by working three walks out of the leadoff spot Monday.

J.T. Realmuto coming up with a big two-run double in the bottom of the seventh, then stealing and scoring himself, after the Tigers briefly made the game close in the top of the inning.

The other Big 5 in Philadelphia had it going in an 8-3 win over the Tigers Monday night at Citizens Bank Park. This was the way it was drawn up. This was the blueprint. And for all the talk of being patient while waiting for the big guns to heat up, sometimes there have to be results.

Nobody, probably, needed this more than Turner. He signed an 11-year, $300 million free agent contract during the offseason. He was a career .302 hitter who was batting .232 before busting loose Monday night. He’d been talking for weeks about how he was feeling better, more comfortable at the plate. Now he has something to show for it.

“I don’t think relief is the right word,” he said. “It’s just, like, ‘finally.’ Just because I expect quality at-bats out of myself.

“I think it’s physical. My swing wasn’t where it needed to be. The analytics department and (hitting coach Kevin Long) found something a few days ago. I kind of tried it the last three days and it feels like the right adjustment. Then when you get the results, you can buy into it.

“When the mechanics are good, you see the ball well, you make good decisions, you don’t miss pitches. A lot of things go right when the mechanics are good.”

Turner had a hard time explaining exactly what the adjustment was. It apparently has to do with his back hip and knee and can be easy to overlook. I’ll try anything when I’m struggling. I don’t care what it looks like. I’ll stand on my head. It’s just about getting the job done.

“I know it’s in there. I know there are answers in there. So to come out and get some pitches to hit and not miss them and kind of hit them the way I want to hit them is a good sign for me. It’s a positive for me and my mentality or my approach or whatever you want to call it.”

The Phillies have scored 30 runs in their last four games. Is this the real deal or another mirage that will shimmer and disappear? Time will tell, but when the big boys are swinging the way they have the last few days, anything seems possible.

RHP Taijuan Walker (4-3, 5.65) will start for the Phillies Tuesday night. The Tigers will counter with a bullpen game with LHP Tyler Alexander (1-0, 6.38) first in line.

RHP Reese Olsen (0-1, 3.60) is scheduled to face RHP Zack Wheeler (4-4, 4.33) in the series finale Wednesday night.

Tigers DH Miguel Cabrera will be honored before Wednesday night’s game. The likely first ballot Hall of Famer is the last active MLB player to have played at Veterans Stadium, appearing in six games there for the Marlins in 2003. He’s announced his retirement at the end of the season.

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