Monday, May 27

Tatis (3 RBIs) offers Padres coveted spark

CHICAGO — The Padres know the expertise that Fernando Tatis Jr. brings to the crew. Tatis additionally is aware of that he can get again to that MVP-type caliber participant. And whereas he hasn’t gotten off to the quick begin he’d hoped for, his first clutch second of the season was coming.

His go-ahead two-run single within the seventh inning helped the Padres beat the Cubs, 5-3, on Wednesday night at Wrigley Field. That was Tatis’ first go-ahead hit of the 12 months and the fifth go-ahead hit within the seventh or later in his profession — his first since July 21, 2021, in opposition to the Braves.

“Set it up for him with a bunt and [he] comes through in a big spot,” supervisor Bob Melvin mentioned. “It’s not a surprise. He seems to be one of those guys that is timely in those big spots. I know he likes to be up there with guys on base.”

After going 17-for-33 with seven dwelling runs and 15 RBIs in eight video games at Triple-A El Paso, Tatis had been sluggish out of the gate for the Padres in his return from suspension for testing optimistic for a efficiency enhancing drug.

Entering Wednesday, he was simply 4-for-22 on the plate with one dwelling run, one RBI, and 6 strikeouts in six video games. But then, the previous All Star put collectively a much-needed 2-for-5 day with three RBIs. The Padres hope it is the spark wanted to get him going.

“Just getting back to playing, more than anything,” Melvin mentioned of Tatis’ first couple of video games. “Now he’s playing a new spot in the outfield and there’s a lot on his plate. But those are the type of situations that he thrives in, loves to be up in, and came through a couple of times for us tonight.”

Tatis’ clutch second in Wednesday’s win got here with runners on second and third within the seventh inning. The slugging outfielder waited again and linked on an 83.6 mph slider from Cubs pitcher Brandon Hughes that acquired by way of the left aspect of the infield to attain each runs and make the rating 4-3.

Then within the ninth, Tatis gave the Padres an additional insurance coverage run by singling dwelling a run. His three RBIs are essentially the most in a sport for him since Sept. 11, 2021.

And he confirmed some emotion on each RBI hits within the sport.

“It’s been such a long time and I was just bringing back emotion,” Tatis mentioned. “It’s been kind of a rough start for us and just pumping, just pushing, being loud, and being there with my teammates and just enjoy it.”

Tatis got here into this 12 months with out taking part in in a Major League sport for 563 days. He additionally moved from his acquainted shortstop to the outfield to make means for newcomer Xander Bogaerts. There have been going to be some struggles to start the 12 months — hitting in opposition to massive league pitchers once more and taking part in a brand new place.

But with simply six video games underneath his belt, the Padres are seeing glimpses of the previous Tatis and the distinction he could make in video games on either side.

In Tuesday’s 6-0 loss, Tatis made a pleasant seize in proper subject to rob a base hit, which on the time was solely a 2-0 sport. Then on Wednesday, the previous All-Star confirmed his breakout together with his bat.

“That was great,” reliever Nick Martinez mentioned. “Great cushion that he provided us and you know, he’s a weapon.”

Tatis has now hit safely in 5 of the six video games he’s performed, however has only one extra-base hit in 27 plate appearances. El Niño, although, isn’t anxious about it.

“Big league pitchers are making big league pitches and when that happens, you tip your cap off,” he mentioned. “I’m happy that I’m just picking up my singles a day at a time and just getting on base. I feel like in the right moment, I’m going to get hot and big balls are going to start coming out of my bat.”

As a crew, the Padres haven’t gotten off to the perfect begin. They’re 13-13 and the bats have been pretty quiet. They’ve been shut out 5 occasions this season and common simply 3.73 runs per sport.

Will Tatis’ three-RBI night time present the spark?

“I’ve been waiting for him for a year-plus,” Melvin mentioned. “One of the lures of getting an opportunity to come over here was Fernando Tatis Jr. Finally got him back in the lineup and you know, nights like this shows you why we need him.”

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