Trea Turner's slump continues but he remains upbeat headed to LA

Turner’s downturn continues however he stays positive as Phillies head to LA initially appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

HOUSTON — Trea Turner had a possibility late Sunday night to either connect the video game or provide the Phillies a lead over the Astros, however the dropping shortstop was not able to come through.

It was among 3 various innings the Phillies stranded 2 runners in a 4-3 loss.

Just 6-for-42 (.143) over his last 10 video games with 14 strikeouts, Turner started out on 4 pitches in the seventh inning with 2 on, 2 outs and the Phillies down 2 runs.

Manager Rob Thomson spoke with Turner Saturday night about sitting him Sunday however Turner wishes to play through his cold spell.

“Timing’s just not good,” Turner stated. “I thought the swing the last two days has been better but I haven’t been able to take what I’ve been working on in the cage into the game. Just pitch recognition, trouble zones, still not there, but I feel like the swing is getting better so that’s a positive.

“But yeah, I have not been excellent. I understand the sort of gamer I am and where I can improve and I simply have not played up to my requirement. I do not care about the outdoors things, I’ve got high expectations for myself and I simply have not been excellent. It’s as easy as that.”

Turner didn’t look or sound like a defeated man in the clubhouse postgame. He was upbeat and honest while acknowledging things haven’t clicked for him yet as a Phillie.

He doesn’t want to sit, but could he benefit from a game off in Los Angeles?

“I like playing. Unless I’m harming and I physically require it, there’s no reason to not play since you’re not playing well,” he said. “That’s how I feel. I’ve informed my supervisors in the past, I informed Rob the other day that I’ll never ever request an off day, you have actually got to bench me. So if he believes I stink and wishes to bench me, that’s on him, however for me, if I’m able to play, I wish to play.”

Thomson does not plan to sit Turner in the Dodgers series.

J.T. Realmuto, who homered earlier in the game, popped out in the fourth and lined out in the sixth with two men aboard in each spot.

The Phils still won the series, their fourth in a row, and finish the month of April with a 15-14 record.

“I believed it was a terrific series,” Thomson said. “Two truly excellent groups and we played well.”

Bailey Falter took the loss and is 0-5 with a 5.01 ERA. His night began ominously. He loaded the bases with nobody out on a single and two walks. The game could have gotten away from the Phillies quickly but Falter induced a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Jose Abreu, who has had a rough and powerless start to his Astros career.

While he escaped major damage in the opening frame, Falter put the leadoff man on base four of five times and had no easy innings.

Better defense from the Phillies in the second inning could have prevented a run. David Hensley led off by lining a ball to deep left-center and Brandon Marsh tracked it but couldn’t keep it in his glove on a slide. There was a bit of a miscommunication on the play between Marsh and Kyle Schwarber, who was mic’d up during the inning. You could hear the conversation between the two outfielders, with Schwarber saying he didn’t call it.

Soft contact ended Falter’s night in the fifth when Yordan Alvarez dribbled a ball down the third-base line for a single and Kyle Tucker blooped in an RBI single.

“This is a difficult lineup for a left-hander to go through since even their 2 lefties (Alvarez and Tucker) struck lefties,” Thomson said. “I believe he simply grinded and grinded and grinded … the strolls harm him.”

Offensively, the Phils weren’t fooled by right-hander Jose Urquidy, they were just unable to cash in. Realmuto and Kody Clemens hit solo home runs to the Crawford Boxes — Clemens’ would not have been out in any of the other 29 parks — but that was it until a run came across on an eighth-inning error by third baseman Alex Bregman. The Phillies hit five line drives in the first six innings and all five were caught.

Clemens’ homer was his third in his last four games. He’s driven in a run in all four. Thomson went with him in the DH spot Sunday night over Jake Cave because he likes what he’s seen lately from Clemens and thought his swing would play well against Urquidy. Playing time for both Clemens and Cave will decrease when Bryce Harper returns to the DH spot, which could be Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Once again, the bullpen kept the game close. Connor Brogdon, Gregory Soto and Luis Ortiz combined for 4⅔ scoreless innings. The Phillies’ ‘pen has a 0.81 ERA in the last 14 games. Soto’s opponents are 1-for-36 in his last 11 outings, hitting .031/.139/.031.

The Phillies haven’t swept a series yet but won their fourth in a row in Houston. Now they move on to face the 16-13 Dodgers, who are still formidable but not the offensive team they’ve been in recent seasons. They’re led by Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Will Smith, and the streaky Max Muncy has 11 homers and 21 walks already, but the bottom half of the lineup lacks depth.

Taijuan Walker starts the series opener Monday night opposite Tony Gonsolin.

Matt Strahm pitches the middle game against lefty Julio Urias.

Aaron Nola goes in the series finale Wednesday while the Dodgers haven’t yet named a starter.

“Another hard series ahead of us,” Turner said. “Just keep winning series and it will turn and we have actually been doing that. We’re not sweeping individuals however we have actually been playing excellent baseball versus excellent groups. A bit of a sluggish start however I believe the last 2, 3 weeks, we have actually played well.”

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