Trea Turner continued his red-hot run for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic on Tuesday, homering in the second inning to put the Americans up 1-0 against Japan in the championship game. It was Turner's fifth home run of the tournament, tying him for the most in a single World Baseball Classic and breaking the record for most by an American player in their WBC career.
Turner's home run came on a 92 mph fastball from Japan's left-handed starter Shota Imanaga. Turner had worked a 2-1 advantage in the count before Imanaga missed with his heater over the middle. Take a look at the result:
US of TREA! #WorldBaseballClassic pic.twitter.com/r9qRQ8l1g8— World Baseball Classic (@WBCBaseball) March 21, 2023
Per Statcast, Turner's home run had an exit velocity of 107 mph and a launch angle of 25 degrees. The ball was estimated to have traveled 406 feet, and improved Team USA's win probability by 11 percentage points, all the way to 58.8%.
Turner entered Tuesday night hitting .368/.429/1.000 with four home runs and 10 runs batted in. Turner's fifth blast tied Seung-Yuop Lee (Korea, 2006) for the most by one batter in a single tournament. Here's the rest of the top four:
- Seung-Yuop Lee, Korea: 5 HR in 2006;
- Trea Turner, USA: 5 HR in 2023 (and counting);
- Adrián Beltré, Dominican Republic: 4 HR in 2006;
- Wladimir Balentien, Netherlands: 4 HR in 2017;
Win or lose on Tuesday, Turner will return to camp with the Philadelphia Phillies afterward. He signed an 11-year pact worth $300 million with them over the winter. He had previously spent the last season and a half with the Los Angeles Dodgers. For his career, he has a 122 OPS+ and has amassed nearly 30 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference's calculations.
The Americans are seeking their second consecutive WBC title. Japan, who has already ensured they'll extend their unmatched streak of top-four finishes, won both the 2006 and 2009 tournaments. They came into Tuesday as the only nation with multiple titles.