On his way to second base with his first home run Saturday night, San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. turned to his bench and covered one of his eyes, taunting the Los Angeles Dodgers starter, Trevor Bauer, for occasionally pitching with one eye closed. After crossing the plate with his second home run, Tatis mimicked the walk popularized by UFC star Conor McGregor, which Bauer often mimics after throwing dominant innings.
After the game, which the Dodgers won 5-4 at Dodger Stadium, Bauer made it a point to speak in support of Tatis’ actions.
“I like it,” Bauer said. “I think pitchers who have done that to them and react by trying to hit people, getting mad or whatever, I think it’s pretty lazy. If you hit a home run, the guy should celebrate. It’s hard to hit, to hit in the big league. suspenders.
“So, I totally agree. And I think it’s important for the game to move in that direction, and we stop hitting people because they celebrated having some success on the field.”
Tatis Jr.’s two home runs, on a chest-high slider to start the game and on another slider that drifted away from the strike zone in the sixth, came one night after he hit two home runs on the 22nd anniversary of that his father, Fernando Tatis, hit two grand slams in the same inning at Dodger Stadium.
Their celebrations were a response to Bauer notably pitching with one eye closed when he faced the Padres during spring training, but also to the way Bauer emphatically hit his chest when he struck out Tatis Jr. in his first start of regular season against the Padres last weekend.
Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer pitched with one eye closed vs. the Padres in Spring Training.
Fernando Tatis Jr. got revenge after he homered off of him tonight 👀 pic.twitter.com/qPjBdsZVZ6
– SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 25, 2021
“Recovery time,” said Tatis Jr., the first player with consecutive two-homer games against Cy Young Award winners, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau. Tatis Jr. hit two home runs off Clayton Kershaw on Friday night.
“It’s just fun,” added Tatis Jr. “When you know you’re up against a guy like that, he’s doing his thing, he’s having fun on the mound, and when you catch him, you catch him and you celebrate him too. He’s a tough guy. of CONECT”.
Bauer said he didn’t see Tatis Jr. put his right hand over his right eye as he circled the bases in the first inning, but he did notice that players in the Padres’ dugout did when Tatis Jr. homered him later.
In the fourth, Bauer struck out Eric Hosmer with a curve ball and showed off his patented celebration of pulling out an imaginary sword – a “sword” is a popular term for hitters who take a clumsy half swing when tricked with a pitch. When Hosmer hit a line down the middle that nearly hit Bauer two innings later, he reached first base and returned holding the sword.
“That’s being a competitor,” Bauer said. “I’m going to come after you. Sometimes I’ll catch you, and you will catch me sometimes. We can have fun, we can celebrate while we continue to compete at the highest level. I just thought it was important to consider tonight.”
Before Tatis Jr.’s big night, Bauer’s arch nemesis on the Padres was Manny Machado, who entered batting .632 / .696 / 1.368 in 23 plate appearances against him. Machado has especially crushed Bauer’s fastball in recent years, which is why Bauer attacked him exclusively with his slider. Bauer threw 13 consecutive sliders in three at-bats against Machado, producing a groundout and two strikeouts.
At the last, Machado smiled and nodded toward the mound as he walked toward the dugout. When asked if the plan was to just throw slider until Machado proved he could hit them, Bauer chuckled and said, “Yeah, basically.”
The Padres and Dodgers will play their seventh game against each other in a 10-day stretch Sunday night. The two teams have divided in the first six meetings, with nine draws and four changes of leadership in the general table of the division.
They have been separated by two races or less in 53 of the 57 innings.
“It’s been great baseball in every way,” Tatis Jr. said. “I feel like we’ve been playing great games, and we’re just getting the best out of everyone else.”