The San Diego Padres had an eventful, up-and-down week, and several players stood out.
The Friars started the week by getting swept by the Milwaukee Brewers at Petco Park. Then they limped into Dodger Stadium to face the best team in baseball. They were able to rally and put together one of the most exciting series of the entire season, finishing the week 3-4 after taking three out of four from L.A.
Here are the players that stood out above the rest.
You were expecting someone else? Long gone are the days of Alexi Amarista and Erick Aybar. Tatis reminded everyone this week that he is the most electric player in the entire game. It started to show late in the series against the Brewers when he lined a pinch-hit single in Tuesday’s game before slapping a double against one of the best relievers in baseball, Josh Hader, in Wednesday’s series finale.
After arriving in L.A., the dam broke, and Tatis was playing like the best player in baseball once again. After floundering through the first few weeks of his season, with a .118 batting average and measly .525 OPS heading into the series against the Brewers, things clicked at Dodger Stadium. First, on Thursday, Tatis singled and stole a base. On Friday against ace Clayton Kershaw, Tatis launched two home runs, both off of the three-time Cy Young winner. He added a single, giving him three hits in the game.
Against Trevor Bauer on Saturday, his encore was just as riveting. He took Bauer deep twice, making it back-to-back multi-homer games for the superstar shortstop.
On Sunday, in the national spotlight of Sunday Night Baseball, Tatis had a few more tricks up his sleeve. In the fourth inning, facing Dustin May, who had nasty stuff all day, Tatis lined a ball just over the center-field wall for his amazing fifth home run in three games, setting all kinds of records. He also stole a key base late in the game that set up Eric Hosmer’s go-ahead sacrifice fly in the 11th inning, which ended up being the difference in the victory.
On the week overall, Tatis batted .385 with five home runs, seven RBI, a whopping 1.467 OPS, and a head-spinning 281 wRC+. He is now tied for the major league-lead with seven home runs on the season. He boosted his season average from .118 t0 .246 and his OPS from .525 to .970, among the best in the league.
Fernando Tatis Jr. of the @Padres is the first player in MLB history to have 5+ home runs and 2+ stolen bases in a road series.
— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) April 26, 2021
Fernando Tatis Jr. is the first shortstop ever to homer in 3 straight days at Dodger Stadium.
No Dodgers SS has homered in 3 straight games at Dodger Stadium. pic.twitter.com/cF78Awv7Qc
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 26, 2021
— Bally Sports San Diego (@BallySportsSD) April 26, 2021
For the second time in a week, Darvish found himself dueling against one of the best pitchers of this generation, Clayton Kershaw. Darvish, as he did in the first matchup, matched him step-for-step. Against his former team, the team he pitched for in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series, Darvish was looking for a bit of revenge, and he got it. For the third straight start, Darvish went seven solid innings, once again sparing the bullpen from a long night of work. He struck out nine while allowing just one run in the process.
Darvish currently owns a stifling 2.27 ERA and 160 ERA+ in five starts.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) April 24, 2021
Weathers has been pressed into starting duty since Adrian Morejon went down with an injury that led to him needing Tommy John surgery. The 21-year-old has been nothing short of fantastic early on. He shows little fear or hesitation and ample amounts of confidence in himself. This week, he was tasked with competing with Dodgers ace Walker Buehler in Game 1 of the four-game set.
[wpedon id=”49075″ align=”right”]
All he did was go toe-to-toe with one of the best lineups in baseball and shut them down for 5 2/3 innings, allowing just one hit and zero runs while striking out six. He has been a revelation for the Padres, who were scrambling to find a quality replacement when Morejon went down.
Ryan Weathers was dealing 👀
5 2/3 IP
6 K pic.twitter.com/WtQpxMPfeV
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) April 23, 2021
Native of Escondido, CA. Lived in San Diego area for 20 years. Padres fan since childhood (mid-90s). I have been writing since 2014. I currently live near Seattle, WA and am married to a Seattle sports girl. I wore #19 on my high school baseball team for Tony Gwynn. I am a stats and sports history nerd. I attended BYU on the Idaho campus. I also love Star Wars.