The Washington Nationals entered 2018 with lofty expectations. As the trade deadline approaches, they’re not only fighting for a wild card spot, but they are also fighting themselves.
The Nationals once again showed that the team’s issues might extend beyond poor play on the field after Trea Turner failed to run out a bunt during Monday’s game.
Trea Turner fails to run after dropping down a bunt
In the fourth inning of the contest, Turner dropped down a bunt with Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Jhoulys Chacin on the mound. The ball ran in toward Turner’s hands, but he still managed to put the pitch in play. Unfortunately for him, it bounced right to Chacin, who easily could have recorded the out.
Chacin didn’t have to, though. Instead of running to first, Turner tossed his bat and helmet on the ground and just walked away. He was called out after leaving the base path.
Why did Trea Turner fail to run out a bunt?
Nationals manager Dave Martinez initially thought the ball hit Turner, but that wasn’t the case. He was simply frustrated about the result of the bunt.
Davey says Trea Turner probably won’t play tomorrow after not running out the bunt. For what it’s worth, Trea says it took him a moment to gather himself after that bunt came running in on his hands, and the pitcher was right there, but that he probably should’ve ran it out.
— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) July 24, 2018
Turner admitted after the game that he should have run out the play.
Turner isn’t the only major-league player who made that admission after a game Monday. New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez found himself in the exact same situation.
What will happen to Trea Turner moving forward?
Turner wasn’t pulled from Monday’s game, but there’s a good chance he won’t play Tuesday.
Davey was initially confused about what happened to Turner on the bunt. Thought he fouled it off himself. Realizes now he didn’t. “There’s a good chance he won’t play tomorrow.”
— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) July 24, 2018
Just hours after failing to run out the bunt, Turner won the Nationals’ “Heart & Hustle Award.” The timing of that announcement was … less than optimal.
You can't make this stuff up. Trea Turner just won "Heart & Hustle Award" voted by players. “Trea has an admirable work ethic & consistently gives his all on the field." TRUE. But he should sit tonite for not running last nite. Baseball drives you crazy: see Turner, Trea.
— Thomas Boswell (@ThomasBoswellWP) July 24, 2018
That award is determined by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, so it’s not as if the Nationals released that information the day after Turner gave up on a play. It was just a coincidence.
The Nationals have had a number of issues this season
Turner’s lack of effort is far from the only time this season people have wondered what’s going on with the Nationals. In the team’s first game following the All-Star break, Max Scherzer and Trea Turner got into a verbal spat in the dugout. The team also held a players-only meeting at the beginning of July.
Injuries and poor performances have played a role in the team’s struggles, but the lack of effort and clubhouse issues aren’t helping.
Following Monday’s 6-1 loss, the Nationals sit a game under .500 on the season. Unless the team finds a way to come together soon, the Nationals could surprisingly find themselves at home when the postseason begins.
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