Team USA advanced in the 2023 World Baseball Classic in dramatic fashion by taking down Team Venezuela. Trea Turner provided the heroics with a towering grand slam that put the Americans ahead and allowed them to win 9-7.
Turner, in an 0-2 count with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, swung at a pitch in the zone from Silvino Bracho. The Philadelphia Phillies shortstop drove it 407 feet into left field to give Team USA a lead it would not relinquish. Now, they are heading on to the semifinal round to face Cuba on Sunday night.
After one of the craziest World Baseball Classic showdowns, Turner was asked how it felt to have Ken Griffey Jr., the former superstar and current Team USA hitting coach, give him a big hug as he headed into the dugout.
I said to @treavturner: “You enter the dugout, and Ken Griffey Jr. — your hitting coach — gives you a hug. To the kid from Lake Worth, Fla., how does that sound?”
His answer: “Stupid . . . That sounds crazy.”
😂@MLBNetwork @MLB @Phillies pic.twitter.com/eY8CvByjKA
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) March 19, 2023
“Stupid. That sounds crazy,” Turner said when asked about the special moment. “To go from that kid 10, 12 years old watching him play to him teaching me to hit a little bit is kind of wild. But it was fun all around. It was just electric.”
Luiz Arraez gave Team USA a good fight by becoming the first Team Venezuela player to go yard twice in a World Baseball Classic game. He recorded four RBI, tying Turner for the most in the game. Kyle Tucker knocked home two runs in a 15-hit effort for Team USA. Jose Altuve suffered a right hand injury after getting hit by a pitch but provided a hit and a run before leaving the game.
Whether Team USA goes all the way or not, the Trea Turner grand slam will live on as one of the most memorable moments in World Baseball Classic history.