Monday night, San Diego Padres super duper star Fernando Tatis Jr. caused a commotion when he hit a grand slam in his team's win over the Texas Rangers (SD 14, TEX 4). Tatis swung at a 3-0 pitch with his team leading by seven runs in the eighth inning. MLB's dumb unwritten rules say that's a big no-no.
"I didn't like it, personally," Rangers manager Chris Woodward said following the game. "You're up by seven in the eighth inning; it's typically not a good time to swing 3-0. It's kind of the way we were all raised in the game. But, like I said, the norms are being challenged on a daily basis. So just because I don't like it doesn't mean it's not right. I don't think we liked it as a group."
The Rangers determined an appropriate response to Tatis swinging 3-0 was to throw behind Manny Machado, the next batter. Reliever Ian Gibaut, who threw the pitch behind Machado, was suspended three games for his actions. Woodward was suspended one game as well. Gibaut is appealing the suspension and is eligible to play until the appeal is heard.
The Padres and Rangers continued their four-game home-and-home series Tuesday at Globe Life Field (SD 6, TEX 4) and San Diego spent the afternoon dunking all over the Rangers. In the very first inning Tuesday, Wil Myers cranked (what else?) a grand slam against Mike Minor, and the Padres Twitter account reacted with the appropriate sass:
One inning later Machado, target of Gibaut's purpose pitch following the grand slam, made a spectacular running catch in the right field corner to take extra bases away from Joey Gallo. Yes, in the right field corner. Machado was in shallow right field as part of the shift. Look how easy he makes his absurdly difficult over-the-shoulder catch look:
My goodness. I know there are a lot of people who want to ban shifts, but I'm cool with them. Let teams innovate. As an added bonus, shifts allow us to see third basemen make over-the-shoulder catches in the right field corner. What a play.
And finally, Tatis Jr. got some revenge when he stole base in the fourth inning. Tatis didn't just steal a base. He stole third base against Gibaut with the Padres leading 6-0. Check out the slide:
All sorts of disrespect and unwritten rules being broken there. If you're going to rub it in, that's how you do it. Tatis, it should be noted, currently leads the league in runs (23), home runs (11), RBI (28), and stolen bases (6). That kid is pretty, pretty good.