Looking back to Monday’s Game 2 NLDS matchup between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves, what appeared initially to be a dream game for the Phillies quickly turned into a nightmare in the blink of an eye.
With the Phillies up 4-0 through the first five innings and starter Zack Wheeler literally wheeling and dealing, they appeared well on their way to taking a stranglehold on the best-of-five series before heading home for Game 3.
However, disaster struck for the Phillies as the Braves would go on to score five unanswered runs in the next three innings to complete the improbable comeback to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. So, instead of going home up two games to none with a chance to close out the series in daunting Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday, the Phillies players were left in disbelief.
Some of the faithful have pointed out that the Phillies failed to capitalize on numerous chances throughout the game and felt that it would probably come back to bite them. It certainly did, and very hard too.
But who in particular cost the Phillies the game the most and prevented them from running away with the series?
Trea Turner had truly been a huge difference-maker for the team down the stretch, coming on in the latter part of the season with his hot streak. He continued his torrid pace entering the NL Wild Card series as he went 4-for-7 with two doubles, one RBI and two stolen bases for a .571 batting average and 1.482 OPS, helping the Phillies sweep the Miami Marlins in two games.
Unfortunately, in Game 2 in the NLDS, Turner was once again a difference maker alright, but not for the right reasons.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, with the Phillies well in control of the game up 4-0, the Braves had Ronald Acuña Jr. on first with two outs and Ozzie Albies at the plate. Albies lined a single to right field, with Acuña hustling to third on the play. However, when Phillies’ outfielder Nick Castellanos threw the ball back into the infield, Turner mishandled it, allowing Acuña to score.
Not only did that give the Braves some life with their first run of the game, but it also reignited the home crowd, helping the Braves rally in the following innings. Sometimes, just a little momentum change in a highly-contested ballgame is enough to revitalize a down-and-out team into a furious, motivated comeback. In this case, the single run that scored on Turner's bobble did exactly that.