Does it get better than this? A slam for 1st HR in front of your folks!

April 3rd, 2023

MILWAUKEE -- Craig Counsell keeps urging everyone to watch closely while plays defense. But Turang keeps doing things to make you notice the bat.

With his parents in the stands for the Brewers’ sold-out home opener, the rookie second baseman smashed a grand slam for his first career home run to punctuate a seven-run fifth inning in a 10-0 win over the Mets at American Family Field that represented a smashing homecoming from start to finish.

“There was nothing I could change about it,” said , who combined with reliever Bryse Wilson on a three-hit shutout. “It was perfect.”

Peralta was in the clubhouse when the Brewers’ telecast showed Turang’s mother, Carrie, fighting emotions after her son became the fourth player in franchise history to hit a grand slam for his first career homer. That put Turang on an eclectic list with pitcher Shaun Marcum (July 4, 2011), light-hitting catcher Tim Unroe (May 3, 1997) and Bill Spiers (April 17, 1989), who, like Turang, was a hotshot infielder at the time. Turang entered this year as MLB Pipeline’s No. 5 Brewers prospect.

The moment nearly made Peralta cry because it reminded him of his own debut back in 2018 on Mother’s Day, when he set a Brewers rookie record with 13 strikeouts against the Rockies. Peralta’s parents were in the stands that day with tears running down their faces. 

“It was one of those things that when he hit it, it was almost like, ‘No way,’” Carrie Turang said. “I just lost it. So many different emotions. I was proud of him, excited for him, all his hard work paying off.”

Turang, whose father, Brian, played for the Mariners in the early 1990s, is known for his glove but has proven a tough out since becoming the first player to make his Major League debut in the Brewers’ Opening Day lineup since J.J. Hardy in 2005.

With his grand slam off Mets reliever Tommy Hunter, Turang has reached safely in eight of his first 13 Major League plate appearances, starting with an infield single in his first at-bat on Opening Day at Wrigley Field. On Sunday as the Brewers’ offense came alive, Turang reached safely four times. On Monday in his first game in front of the home fans, he walked, stole second base and scored in the third inning, singled in the fourth and then went deep in the fifth.

“That moment was sick, especially being on deck for it,” said fellow “freshman” Joey Wiemer, who made his own mark on Monday’s game by throwing out Daniel Vogelbach trying to stretch a single into a double in the second for Wiemer’s first career outfield assist. “Seeing the pitch coming in and hanging on that changeup and absolutely crushing it, that was fun to watch.”

“I’ve known Brice since I was 15 years old, so to be able to watch him get all his firsts has been sweet,” said Garrett Mitchell. “This is the energy that we have always played with. To be able to bring it here and do the same thing is a lot of fun.”

There was also the elite defense mixed in, which is what excites Counsell most about the 23-year-old Turang. 

The grand slam? Counsell will take it. 

“That's a little bit of an out-of-body experience,” Counsell said. “He'll say his trip on the bases, you don't feel it, you don't remember where the ball went, you feel like you're walking on air. You go a little blank there and try to soak it in, but I'm not sure you do because it's pretty special. It's an incredible feeling. First homer, grand slam, Opening Day -- that's a lot to check off on one swing.”

The Brewers’ rookies, it was suggested, don’t seem intimidated by their new surroundings.

“Well, they're good players,” Counsell said. “Good players aren't intimidated.”

Sure enough, Turang’s mind didn’t start working again until he completed his circuit. He was cogent enough to answer the curtain call from an announced crowd of 42,017.

“I just remember hitting home and excited that our lead went up and our chances of winning went up," Turang said. “Just trying to produce for the team.”

Afterward, he embraced his mom, dad and other family members outside the Brewers clubhouse. They were all at Wrigley Field for Turang’s debut as well, along with his four uber-athletic sisters.

“I mean, it’s unbelievable. They’re my biggest supporters,” Turang said. “They’ve always been there for me since I was a little kid and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”