Turner with 40th stolen base and three hits in loss, focuses on health

Nationals shortstop Trea Turner stole his 40th base of the season Wednesday night in an 8-2 loss to the Braves. That would be impressive for an everyday player who had logged 130 or so games by this time of the season.

But Turner missed a combined 61 games due to a broken wrist and a hamstring strain. He has stolen 40 bases in just 379 plate appearances this season. 130 games? Umm, no. Turner has played in 83 total games.

Oh, the possibilities!

“Oh yeah, he was on pace to lead this league in stolen bases, and then he had an unforeseen broken wrist,” said manager Dusty Baker. “We all know that Trea’s a player and he’s an impact player. When he’s out there, we feel better, and the pitcher on the other team feels worse.”

A prime example of giving the opposing pitcher that queasy feeling arrived in his third at-bat following a single. Further displaying his speed, Turner went first to third in the sixth on an error by Braves starter Luiz Gohara.

Turner is now the second player in Nationals history (2005-present) with 40 steals in a season. Alfonso Soriano stole a team-record 41 bases in 2006.

“I think you can’t steal first,” Turner said. “You know you’re stealing 40 or 50 bases, whatever it is, then you get on first quite a bit to have those opportunities. The way I look at it, being on base is good for the team. That’s what I’m taking away from it.”

So with 17 games remaining, could Turner get to 50 as his next goal?

“If it’s there I want to take it or it’s not the right time, don’t take it,” Turner reasoned. “Whatever the game gives you. I don’t think you can really set goals for yourself. Like if you have a goal of whatever it is and you get hurt and you don’t meet that goal did you fail? I don’t know. I just try to take advantage of the opportunities and whatever it ends up being, it ends up being.”

Turner ended up 3-for-4 on the night with three singles and two runs scored. His average moved to .285. He had…

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