Jacob Turner Struggles in Second Career Start

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The final line for Detroit Tigers rookie Jacob Turner didn’t look good today, but it wasn’t as bad as it seemed, either.

Turner, making just his second career start, retired the side in order in the first, but allowed a pair of runs in the second. Eric Hosmer lined a single to right with one out, then Turner badly-hung a breaking ball to Jeff Francoeur, who didn’t miss it. The pitch was a clear mistake and Franceour made Turner pay with a two-run shot down the left field line.

After that, however, Turner sat down the next seven consecutive Royals batters and nine of ten. When the fifth inning began, however, things fell apart quickly. Turner allowed a double to the fist batter of the frame, but then got a ground out from Brayan Pena. The key at bat for Turner came when the next batter, Alcides Escobar, battled back from down 0-2 to line a single to center. Consecutive singles from each of the next two batters lead to two more Kansas City runs and ended Turner’s day. His line wasn’t completed until Ryan Perry allowed a two-run double to Billy Butler, however.

Until the fifth, Turner had allowed a pair of runs on three hits, making really only one mistake. I don’t know if it was fatigue or simply a lack of adjustments by Turner, but when the Kansas City lineup saw him the next time through, they had much better swings.

Turner looked great in striking out seven Angels in 5.1 innings on July 30, and the fans were rightly encouraged. But perspective is needed in evaluating Turner’s second start. He’s very young and he will make mistakes, but he should be able to learn from his struggles today. Justin Verlander posted an ERA of over seven in his 2005 cameo appearances, and Turner has done the same this year. Today’s results don’t mean anything about what we might see from this young pitcher going forward. The future remains bright.

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