Tatis Jr. injured doing splits on freak play

Shortstop exited game with hamstring injury

April 28th, 2019

WASHINGTON – The Padres’ five-game winning streak went sailing high into the late evening sky off the bat of Matt Adams, but the 7-6 defeat in 11 innings on Sunday was secondary to the loss of prized rookie shortstop , who left the game an inning earlier due to a scary looking hamstring injury.

“We’re hoping he’s OK,” manager Andy Green said. “We’ll find out in time here. He seems in pretty good spirits right now. We’ll find out how severe or how mild it is pretty shortly.”

With no outs and a runner on first in the 10th, the Nationals’ Victor Robles bunted back toward the mound. Padres pitcher Matt Wisler grabbed the ball and fired to second in an attempt to get the forceout on Wilmer Difo. Tatis stretched for the ball and wound up doing the splits, with his back foot sliding off the base as he brought the ball in.

Tatis crumpled to the ground and lay flat on his stomach for a couple of minutes as the trainers attended to him. He got up under his own power and gingerly walked off the field. Replay review ruled that Tatis did not have his foot on the bag and that the runner was safe.

“It was an unfortunate situation,” said. “Obviously when you see someone go down like that, you kind of think it’s pretty bad, but hopefully he’s all right and he’ll be healthy to continue doing what he’s been doing on this ballclub.”

The Padres had to scramble in Tatis’ immediate absence, moving Machado over to shortstop, to third and Francisco Mejia to left field. Machado immediately made a difference, halting Washington’s rally with a sliding grab of Howie Kendrick’s sharp grounder, firing a throw to first to end the inning.

“I’m just trying to make the play there and not let them walk us off there in that situation,” Machado said. “We had to scramble around in the field, and we got lucky we got out of it.”

“That’s routine for him. I wasn’t that impressed because he does it all the time,” Myers joked of Machado’s play. “That’s what he does.”

The Padres would see their chances for a sweep come to an end in the next inning, when Wisler (1-1), in his third inning of work, left a 1-1 pitch out over the plate to Adams, who crushed it just inside the right-field foul pole into the upper deck, spoiling a solid day for San Diego’s bullpen arms in relief of starter .

“It’s definitely a tough game to lose, but it happens throughout the course of the season,” Green said.

If Tatis does wind up missing time, Machado seems like a natural fit to move to shortstop, while , a third baseman by trade, could slide over to the hot corner. But any potential moves are still precautionary at this point.

“Hamstrings are funny things,” Green said. “You never know. He might feel great tomorrow, it might take a long time. I’ve seen enough of them in time that you just don’t have an answer right after they happen. You’re hoping he’s ready to go sooner, rather than later.”

Tatis finished the game with a career-high three hits and his team-high sixth steal. He’s hitting .300 in his rookie campaign.

Machado misses his pitch

The Padres didn’t have many scoring opportunities after plating six runs over the game’s first three innings, but they had a great chance to take the lead in the ninth. hit a two-out, pinch-hit single and Tatis moved pinch-runner to third with another single. Greg Garcia walked to load the bases for Machado.

Nationals reliever Joe Ross was wild with his first two pitches, putting Machado in the driver’s seat at 2-0. He could have continued to try and work a walk, taking advantage of Ross’ struggles to find the zone, or sit on a fastball and hope to drive the ball to a gap and score the go-ahead run.

Machado chose to swing away and lifted a lazy popup to third base, slamming his bat down in frustration as the Padres best chance fizzled.

“I thought I had a good hack on it, but I just kind of clipped it,” Machado said. “That’s just the way it goes sometimes. I got my pitch. I just missed it.”