San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. hit his third (and would later his fourth) home run in the past 24 hours to lead off Saturday night’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Tatis jumped the fence on the second pitch he saw from reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer, sending the ball traveling out to left field at more than 103 miles per hour and for a total projected distance of 383 feet, according to Statcast.
Just as notable as Tatis’ leadoff shot was how he chose to celebrate it. After rounding first base, he turned to the San Diego dugout and covered his eyes, like so:
Tatis also broke out his new hesitation-step celebration that he uses as he’s coming around third base.
While the eye-covering may seem like a random act of exuberance on Tatis’ part, it’s worth remembering that Bauer experimented with pitching with an eye closed during the exhibition season. “I figured if they can’t score off me with one eye open, it’s going to be difficult to score off me with two eyes open,” Bauer told MLB.com after throwing three scoreless innings against the Padres in March. “Just having a little bit of fun.”
Based on Tatis’ reaction, it’s clear that the Padres intend to have some fun of their own at Bauer’s expense. Tatis sure did later in the night, recording a second multi-homer game in as many nights with a sixth-inning blast, also off Bauer:
Coming into Saturday, Tatis had hit .224/.309/.551 in his first 55 plate appearances this season. He missed nine of San Diego’s games earlier this month after suffering a shoulder subluxation on a swing. Tatis returned to the Padres lineup on April 16.
The Padres entered Saturday’s contest having won the first two of the four-game set in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. Last weekend, the Dodgers took two of three in San Diego. With another win, the Padres could cut the Dodgers’ lead down to two games in the National League West.