Fernando Tatis Jr. is the most exciting player in baseball. While the title for best player is always reserved for Mike Trout until proven otherwise, Tatis Jr. is taking the league by storm and is just what the game needs. Just in this series alone, he has hit four home runs. He is the first player with back-to-back, two-homer games against Cy Young Award winners. He hit two off Clayton Kershaw on Friday and Trevor Bauer on Saturday. Tatis Jr's two homers on April 23 came the same night 22 years ago when his father as a member of the Cardinals hit two grand slams off the same pitcher. Guess this is a family affair.
What TV Channel is Padres-Dodgers on?
Padres-Dodgers will be shown on ESPN at 7:00 p.m. ET. You can live stream MLB games on fuboTV.
How to Watch Sunday Night Baseball: Padres-Dodgers
When: Sunday, April 25 Where: Dodger Stadium - Los Angeles, CA Time: 7:05 p.m. ET TV: ESPN Live Stream: fuboTV (watch MLB free with fuboTV)
On his two home runs hit in game two, Tatis Jr. trolled defending NL Cy Young award winner Trevor Bauer. On the second pitch of the game he hit a bomb then covered one of his eyes while rounding the bases as Bauer frequently pitches with one eye closed. On his second homer off Bauer, Tatis Jr. imitated Conor Mcgregor's strut which the pitcher also frequents when he has a good inning. The shade is real and is breaking so many unwritten rules. That is how this game is going to grow and improve.
Tatis Jr. is having fun and that only helps baseball. Tatis Jr. said he was just getting "payback time" against Bauer when he's had successful outings against him earlier in the season. To Bauer's credit, he's very supportive of Tatis Jr.'s celebrations. This is what the game needs. More trash talking. More 3-0 homers. If pitchers can celebrate their accomplishments constantly, why can't hitters? Tatis Jr. can change any game in a heartbeat and is so refreshing to the game and has made a starved baseball market relevant again.
But Tatis Jr. will be the first to tell you that he needs to get his average up (.208) and on base more especially in the leadoff spot. The Padres have been meandering around .500 for the opening month of the season and sit at 12-11 while the Dodgers looking every bit as defending World Series champions sitting at 15-6. While the Padres have so far kept up with their in-state rival head-to-head, they still have a ways to go to get in the same tier as the Dodgers.
While their won't be any Cy Young arms on the mound, Sunday night's pitching matchups will be just as exciting as earlier in this series. For the Padres, local legend Joe Musgrove will make the start. On top of a 1.04 ERA, .54 WHIP, and a 37 K to 3 BB ratio, the San Diego native threw a no-hitter in his first month with his hometown team earlier this season. He may have got the best reward ever for his efforts getting free beer for life from San Diego brewery Ballast Point. The Dodgers won't be messing around either on the mound starting Dustin May. He can regularly hit triple digits and has an impressive 2.93 ERA of his own. There is not a weakness really in any of these club's games.
Tatis Jr. recently said the Padres and Dodgers are the best rivalry in the game. While the Red Sox and Yankees still exist, that will always be hyperbole. But wasn't hyperbolic is it feels like we have playoff baseball in April with these two. They are split at 3-3 playing six games in the last week. Sunday Night Baseball will serve as a rubber match of sorts and whatever happens, this is going to be a fun and smash mouth rivalry for some time to come.