Turner's steal means free tacos for America

October 23rd, 2019

It didn't take long for Nationals shortstop to become this year’s Taco Hero. The speedster swiped second base during the top of the first inning in Tuesday’s World Series Game 1 -- which Washington won, 5-4 -- to net all of America free tacos as part of Taco Bell's "Steal a Base, Steal a Taco" promotion that returned for the 2019 Fall Classic.

Fans can redeem their free Doritos® Locos Tacos at participating Taco Bell locations on Wednesday, Oct. 30 from 2-6 p.m. local time, or all day online or on the app.

Turner was an easy candidate to be this year’s Taco Hero, particularly given that the former National League stolen-base champ was the Nationals' leadoff hitter in Game 1 and that the club hit first as the road team. Turner reached on an infield single that Astros shortstop Carlos Correa bobbled before throwing to first, then he dashed to second as Gerrit Cole delivered a 96.4 mph fastball to backstop Martin Maldonado, making Turner’s feat all the more impressive.

"My mom was asking me to win free tacos," Turner said of his trip to second. "I didn't want to get yelled at so I figured I'd steal the base. [Laughing] I'm kidding. I just felt like being aggressive. Obviously with Cole out there, it's tough to get runs across the board, so anytime I could take advantage of it we figured we would."

According to Statcast, Turner went home-to-first in 4.55 seconds at a sprint speed of 28.5 feet per second. After establishing a 22.9-foot secondary, he then surged to second in 4.35 seconds with a sprint speed of 27.3 feet per second. For context, MLB average sprint speed is 27.0, and Turner tied for the second-fastest average sprint speed in 2019, at 30.3.

Surprisingly enough, Turner’s first-inning swipe was the Nats’ first steal attempt this postseason, coming in their 10th game in October. Washington tied St. Louis for the NL lead with 116 stolen bases during the regular season and finished tied for third in the Majors. And Turner’s 157 steals during the regular season since 2016 trail only Billy Hamilton (173) and Jonathan Villar (160) in MLB.

Turner joined Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts in 2018 and Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor in ‘16 as Taco Heroes who achieved the feat in the first inning of their respective World Series, though Turner was the first to do so in the top of the inning.