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Trea Turner’s Grand Slam Leads Epic Rally by Nationals after Trailing 9-0

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Trea Turner’s historic eight-RBI night helped sparked an epic comeback win for the Washington Nationals as they rallied from down nine runs to top the Miami Marlins 14-12.

A night after veterans called a players-only meeting with the season slipping away, the Nationals found themselves on the brink of disaster. Starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson was fighting an illness, and it showed as the Marlins jumped on him for eight runs through four innings, and eventually burying the Nationals into a 9-0 hole.

All seemed like a team that had quit, and was down and out. Then the team that has won four National League East division titles in six years woke up and fought back after being staggered through four innings.

1. Trea Turner’s Epic Night

Enter Turner, one of the many young phenoms that provide spice to a veteran roster. Batting leadoff in the fourth, Turner cranked out a solo shot to get the Nats on the board. He was not done and neither were his teammates.

The Nationals loaded the bases in the fifth and by the time Turner chopped in Daniel Murphy on a fielder’s choice, the Nats cut the deficit to 9-3. Washington hung four in the fifth to cut the deficit to 9-5. Then in the sixth with bases loaded and trailing 9-6, Turner tattooed a pitch from Adam Conley over the left-field wall for his first-career grand slam and more importantly capped an epic comeback from down nine to take the lead 10-9.

Yet, Turner and friends were not done. With bases loaded in the seventh, Turner ripped a two-run single to left that extended the Nats lead to 13-9, at the time. In all the Nationals dropped 14 unanswered runs on the Marlins to take a 14-9 lead. Turner finished the game with eight RBIs, tying him for the most runs batted in by a leadoff hitter in MLB history.

Turner’s output carried the Nationals in more ways than one.

Before tonight, no MLB team had overcome a deficit of nine of more runs this season in 103 occurrences.

2. Matt Adams Returns with a Bang

While Turner was smacking in runs, Matt Adams’ return played in the shadow. He came back like he never left, getting hits in each of his first four at-bats. Considering he got nothing from the two guys in front of him in the lineup — Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper — it was amazing that he was able to going. While, he didn’t drive in runs, he got on base with three singles and a double. And the Nationals took advantage, as he scored three runs, including crossing the plate on Turner’s grand slam.

Adams was sorely missed from the lineup for the two weeks he was on the disabled list with a broken finger. He adds a pop to the lineup as displayed on Thursday night. Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez says Adams will platoon along with Mark Reynolds at first base in absence of Ryan Zimmerman, maybe Martinez may need to reconsider after this comeback performance from Adams?

3. Nationals Score 14 Runs without Getting a Hit from Neither Harper, Rendon, nor Murphy

What’s astonishing is the Nationals hung 14 runs in an epic comeback and did not get a hit from Harper, Rendon and Daniel Murphy. Harper and Murphy, each, did score a run and Murphy drove in one on a sacrifice fly, yet it’s still telling how deep the team can be when they score 14 runs and neither one of them records a hit.

Turner and 19-year sensation Juan Soto batted at the top of the order and the two produced, driving in 11 of the 14 runs together. It was a good thing they were so reliable, as Rendon and Harper batted next and provided little going 0-for-8 at the plate with two walks and two strikeouts.

Murphy hit the ball well, displaying a promising glimpse, but Harper has struggled with his batting average dipping to .213. If, the Nationals are going to turn this thing around they will eventually need Harper — Murphy and Rendon for that matter — to wake up at the plate.

4. What to think of this comeback win?

Are the Nationals ready to power through their struggles of June that have drifted into early July and get back to being the team everyone thought was going to steamroll through the NL East? Hard to say after one game, but there resolve to comeback from down 9-0 showed a lot about the team.

And to have two of their young studs, Turner and Soto, leading the charge with newcomer Adams, shows the hunger throughout the clubhouse. And maybe that new energy is what’s needed. For so long the Nats have been the presumable kings of the NL East. This season is not going to be a cakewalk like others and a grand comeback is going to be needed if they are to play postseason games in October.

While it was just the Marlins, the Nationals’ clubhouse certainly lean on this one as inspiration of how good they can be at a flip of a switch.

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