Turner propels Phils with franchise's 1st 4-hit postseason game

October 13th, 2023

PHILADELPHIA -- One of the first times was exposed to the fan-favorite postgame antics of teammates Bryson Stott and Brandon Marsh came after an April 19 win over the White Sox in Chicago.

Turner had just hit his first home run as a Phillie on his way to finishing a triple shy of the cycle in only his 19th game with the club. His most impressive feat that day, however, may have been somehow avoiding the cups of water Stott and Marsh tried to dump on him during his postgame interview.

"Clean it up," Turner joked in the clubhouse afterward.

Turns out, Turner had a much different criteria for what warranted an on-field shower.

"Walk-off homers, walk-off hits, like clinching stuff," Turner said at the time.

It's safe to say Turner's performance in the Phillies' 3-1 win over the Braves on Thursday night in Game 4 of the National League Division Series qualified -- and there was no avoiding Stott and Marsh this time around.

Not only did Turner become the first player in franchise history with a four-hit game in the postseason, but he also delivered the decisive home run in Philadelphia's NLDS-clinching victory.

So with goggles on and hood up, Turner stood in the center of the home clubhouse afterward and fully embraced being doused by Stott and Marsh along with the rest of their Phillies teammates.

"I hate the cold water or cold whatever they've got," Turner said. "They've got all sorts of things going on. So yeah, I hate the cold. But this time of year, it's fun. It's a lot of fun."

Even with as well as Turner played down the stretch and into the postseason, it was hard to envision a night quite like this one. After all, he entered 0-for-17 (including the postseason) against Braves ace and Game 4 starter Spencer Strider.

Turner, however, doubled in the first and singled in the third before hitting a go-ahead solo home run in the fifth -- all off Atlanta's right-hander. In doing so, Turner became the first player with three hits off Strider in a single regular-season or postseason game.

"He's got great stuff. We all know it," Turner said of Strider. "I feel like in the past, my at-bats off him, I missed [pitches], fouled them off, whatever it is. And I think that's a tip of the cap to him, because he's got good stuff.

"But tonight, it was just more, 'Don't miss those pitches.' And I got those pitches to hit and I didn't miss them."

Just about the only thing Turner missed out on was the cycle.

Going back to the near-cycle on that cold April night in Chicago, Turner admitted at the time that he was going for a triple in his last at-bat -- and he has openly acknowledged that he wants to be the first player in MLB history with four career cycles.

So was that on his mind when he stepped to the plate in the seventh inning against Braves reliever A.J. Minter? Even in a postseason game?

"Oh, I was going for it," Turner said.

Of course, with the Phils clinging to a two-run lead at the time, Turner wasn't going to step outside of his normal routine in an attempt to get that elusive triple. He instead settled for an infield single that had an exit velocity of 95.1 mph -- his fourth hard-hit ball in as many plate appearances.

"Sometimes it's just not there and you can't force it," Turner said. "Especially in that spot, I'm taking what they give me."

Turner's historic four-hit night capped an NLDS in which he went 8-for-17 (.471) with four extra-base hits (two homers), two RBIs, five runs and two stolen bases. He's had at least one hit in each of his six games this postseason, while hitting .500 (12-for-24) with six extra-base hits and four steals.

If Turner continues putting up numbers like that, he’ll likely be watching over his shoulder for Stott and Marsh plenty in the coming weeks.

"Screw whatever he says,” Stott said of Turner’s initial celebration rules. “We like to have fun and we got him on board with it. He came around. It's just a blast being around him and all these guys."

For what it’s worth, Turner no longer has any objections to the Daycare’s postgame hijinks.

Well, at least until next spring.

“Maybe not in May or April, but in October, it's a blast,” Turner said. “So give me all the cold water you can get.”