Philadelphia Phillies' Trea Turner acknowledges the crowd after hitting a three-run home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Trea Turner finally had his moment.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or were rowing down the James River with 10 teenage children for four days👋), you heard about the shortstop’s eventful week.

On Wednesday, Turner’s descent into offensive futility hit a new low, as he went 0 for 5 in a crushing 12-inning loss to the Marlins that saw Miami extend the game thanks to a Turner error in the 11th. It was a play Turner should have made, a fact he copped to in an emotional meeting with reporters afterwards.

Last year, in the midst of Alec Bohm’s early-season fielding struggles, the third baseman uttered his now-famous line: “I f___ing hate this place.” he later apologized, with frustration plastered across his face, admitting the pressures of his struggles had gotten to him.

Phillies fans loved Bohm’s honesty, and returned that honesty with unadulterated applause and adoration in the days and weeks that followed. His admission and the fans’ subsequent reaction may have saved his career in Philadelphia. 

Perhaps having learned the benefits of sending good vibes to struggling players, Phils’ fans responded to Turner’s mea culpa and embraced him with open arms this weekend at Citizens Bank Park.

Turner laced an RBI single in his final at-bat on Friday night, then came to the plate in a huge spot on Saturday, trailing 6-5 in the bottom of the 6th with two runners on. 

To say he had struggled in these spots this season would be an understatement. Moved down to No. 8 in the order, Turner is hitting .229 with runners in scoring position and, to that point, had not homered with runners in scoring position. But with one magical swing of the bat, Turner’s season, for the time being, did a 180.

He would follow with an RBI double in the bottom of the 8th that gave the Phils some much-needed insurance, and led off Sunday’s game with a double down the left-field line. He also played outstanding defense this weekend, perhaps some of the weight of his offensive struggles lifted off his shoulders.

After Friday’s game, Turner talked about the response from the fans.

And the cheering wasn’t lost on the team’s biggest star, either.

Philly fans have long gotten a bad rap. This is not new information. And sure, sometimes we can be crude, surly, impatient, and maybe even a tad violent from time to time. But we’re also an intelligent fanbase — and, as it turns out, an emotionally aware one. 

Important to note: Had these professional athletes not shared their struggles with us, not shared what was going on inside them, not let us relate to them as people rather than simply big-money contracts, the reaction would’ve been different. We probably wouldn’t have given Turner the ovation.

There is a benefit for players to connect with fans. When they do, we give them more grace when times are rough. 

Whether this weekend helps propel Turner’s season into something like we thought it was going to be back in March remains to be seen. But it’s not hard to imagine that perhaps Phillies fans might have created a turning point as the team steams towards another wild card berth. 

John Stolnis grew up in Delco as a rabid fan of all Philadelphia sports, but the Phillies have always held a special place in his heart, particularly those disappointing Juan Samuel-led teams of the late...