The season hasn't started yet, and already, Trea Turner has delivered one of the biggest swings of his life.
Turner hit a 407-foot, game-winning grand slam in the top of the eighth inning Saturday night to push Team USA past Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. The U.S. faces Cuba tonight at 7 p.m. ET in the semifinals. Mexico faces Japan in the other semifinal Monday, and the winners meet Tuesday in the Championship.
Turner's grand slam came on an 0-2 changeup with nobody out in the eighth against Silvino Bracho, a pitcher in the Reds organization. The Phillies' shortstop was mobbed by teammates at home plate, including Kyle Schwarber and J.T. Realmuto, who preceded him in Saturday's lineup. Realmuto was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Turner.
Several Phillies have already had huge hits in the WBC. Schwarber broke open a win over Britain with a three-run homer. Catcher Garrett Stubbs, who returned from the WBC with a minor knee injury, hit a game-winning double to help Israel over Nicaragua. Turner's hit has been the biggest of all.
The Phillies signed the superstar shortstop to an 11-year, $300 million contract this offseason. He's been one of the best players in all of baseball the last four years, hitting .311/.361/.509 with full-season averages of 41 doubles, 26 homers, 91 RBI, 116 runs and 35 steals.
He's started the spring hot, carried it into tough competition in the World Baseball Classic, and may be poised for a career year on the basepaths in 2023. He'll be at the top of the Phillies' lineup on opening day March 30 in Texas.