Fernando Tatis Jr. entered this past weekend's four-game set in Dodger Stadium sporting a .154/.267/.333 slash line. The 22-year-old had just six hits in 45 plate appearances, striking out 33.3% of the time. There were worries about his left shoulder and new two-handed finish at the plate, one that would protect the aforementioned shoulder.
Worry no more.
El Niño went off in Los Angeles, going 8-for-18 (.444) with five home runs out of the leadoff spot. His OPS during the series was an astonishing 1.778. Those five home runs came in the final three games of the series, as he became the first visiting player EVER with five home runs in a three-game span at Dodger Stadium.
The home run barrage from Tatis Jr. started in game two, with two blasts off future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw. These came on the 22nd anniversary of his father hitting two grand slams in the same inning... also at Dodger Stadium.
The next day, the superstar got reigning NL CY Young award winner Trevor Bauer TWICE... and had a whole lot of fun doing it.
His final home run in an incredible, awe-inspiring series came off right-hander Dustin May on Sunday. It was the first hit of the game for the Padres, who rallied from 7-1 down in the seventh to beat their NL West rival and take the series.
As we sit here on Monday, Fernando Tatis Jr. is now hitting .246/.338/.632. Despite a 10-day IL stint, he is tied for the MLB lead in home runs (7)... and hitting the ball harder than ever.
Everything was on display for Tatis Jr. under the bright lights in Los Angeles this past weekend. The immense talent. The charisma. The swagger. The joy he has playing the game. He was the talk of baseball all weekend long... and he's just getting started.
Enjoy the show.