Right now, there’s not a hotter team in baseball than the San Diego Padres. Furthermore, there’s probably not a guy more dominating than their centerpiece Fernando Tatis Jr., who hit two bombs on Sunday including a grand slam to put the final exclamation point on the series sweep.
The first one put the Padres on the board in the bottom of the second inning. Seattle seemed to willfully pitch to Tatis Jr. all series long and he made them pay for it by lacing balls all over, and out of the park.
The second home run for Tatis Jr. was a grand slam into the bush in center, and it’s hard to believe a team nicknamed ‘Slam Diego’ is living up to the billing by doing it so often. Someday, it’s possible there will be a documentary made on this era of Padres baseball as the most exciting in their history. Tatis Jr. finished the afternoon with two homers, 6 RBI, and is now hitting .309 with 13 long balls and 26 RBI despite missing a ton of games for injury and COVID-19.
Presently, it’s hard to unpack everything that’s happening for this franchise. They have won 9 games in a row to improve to 30-19 and lead the NL West. Yu Darvish improved to 5-1 on the year with seven fairly effortless innings.
Staring at the box score, it’s not like the lineup is packed with superstars but rather a very solid group of players with an absolutely dominating presence in Tatis Jr. who has taken baseball by storm during a season in which he almost missed the entire year.
Remember, the Padres are playing without Manny Machado and all of this started when the team was missing a good portion of it’s roster to COVID-19 protocols.
Whether it’s in a highlight reel, on the cover of video games, or action figures or trading cards; Tatis Jr. is truly at the center of the baseball universe in a positive way in possibly replacing Mike Trout as the face of the game. In addition, his play has been so unfathomable that he’s been hitting like Barry Bonds at the shortstop position since the series against the Dodgers in which he took over and led to a sweep.
The Padres take on the Brewers on Monday to see if they can keep this incredible streak going that may just be looked back upon as the one that showed the world who the NL Champions of 2021 would be.