Aug 22, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT
The major league debut of top prospect Trea Turner happened to come in a blowout defeat for the Nationals, but the 22-year-old shortstop didn’t let that spoil what was a day he will always remember.
Turner received a nice ovation from the welcoming Nats crowd as he trotted out on defense to replace Ian Desmond in the top of the seventh on Friday night. Matt Williams summoned Turner once he sensed the game was getting away from the Nats, as the Brewers had just pulled away to a 6-2 lead with the bases loaded.
“Every debut is good, I would like to say,” Turner said. “You can’t necessarily have a bad debut, no matter how you play or what the results. It was just fun to be out there and I’m excited to go back out there tomorrow and hopefully get a chance to play and keep doing that.”
The fans cheering him on as he ran from the dugout made for a special moment for Turner.
“It’s hard for me not to pay attention to a lot of that. I can hear it and I see stuff out of the corners of my eyes all the time. It was awesome. That was very cool for me to experience that from the fans. The fans are awesome. They’ve been really, really good to me so far. It’s been fun,” he said.
Turner ended up with two at-bats, both that ended in groundouts. The first was to shortstop Jean Segura in the bottom of the seventh. Segura made the throw to first in a play so close the umpires took a second look on replay. The call was confirmed, as the cameras showed he was just a split-second late to the bag.
The whole replay process itself was new for Turner.
“I’ve never had replay in any game I’ve ever played. So, at first when he called me out I was like ‘alright, I’m out.’ And then everyone was yelling at me to stay on the base. It was a little bit different. Obviously, you wish you could have it because you’ll take any hit you can get. It went the other way. We’ll get after it tomorrow.”
Turner also grounded out to second base in the ninth inning. He finished 0-for-2, but flashed a smooth swing and some quickness on the basepaths.
“He’s got some speed, I can see that,” Bryce Harper said. “I just want to win ballgames. If he can help us then he should be up here.”
Turner played in front of 29,916 on Friday night, a much bigger crowd than he was used to in the minor leagues. But despite the different atmosphere, Turner was surprised how calm he was when he first took the field.
“It was weird. I wasn’t that nervous. I thought I was going to be a little bit more nervous. But at the same time I felt like I was doing some uncharacteristic things. I felt like I couldn’t control my body sometimes. I guess that’s the nerves. Just try to slow it down and be more comfortable tomorrow,” he said.
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
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