Young Tatis looks like veteran as Padres struggle

Notes on Strahm, Paddack, rookie starters, home win-loss woes

April 20th, 2019

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Fernando Tatis Jr. continues to impress.

The 20-year-old rookie shortstop is 3-for-7 with a home run and two walks during his first two games as the Padres’ leadoff hitter.

Tatis is riding an eight-game hitting streak, which is the Padres’ longest of the young season. He is 12-for-29 (.414) during the streak with two doubles, three home runs and seven RBIs with a .455 on-base percentage and a .793 slugging percentage for a 1.248 OPS.

Tatis is 8-for-19 during the Padres' five-game losing streak (.421 average). The rest of the Padres are 22-for-142 (.155 average).

Tatis is the youngest Padre ever to be in the Opening Day lineup. He is also the second-youngest Padre to ever start a game, hit a homer and bat in the leadoff spot -- with the first having been Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar.

Tatis made his debut at the top of the order Thursday at the age of 20 years and 106 days. Alomar was 20 years and 89 days old when he first batted in the leadoff slot in 1988. Tatis is also the youngest Major League player to bat in the leadoff spot since Washington’s Juan Soto (19 years, 217 days) last May 30.


-- LHP Matt Strahm averaged fewer than 11 pitches per inning while going eight innings for the first time in his career Friday night. In fact, Strahm had never gone beyond 5 1/3 innings in any of his previous 11 Major League starts. After Friday night’s one run, two-hit outing, Strahm has allowed one run on seven hits and no walks with nine strikeouts over 13 innings in his past two starts -- lowering his ERA from 7.04 to 3.05.

  -- Although RHP Chris Paddack gave up three runs on two homers Thursday night to suffer his first Major League loss, he allowed only three hits while going six innings for the first time. Opposing hitters are batting just .134 (9-for-67) against Paddack, who has a 2.25 ERA and a 0.80 WHIP with 21 strikeouts across 20 innings. The two homers served up by Paddack on Thursday were the first two he allowed in the Major Leagues.

 -- The Padres are 7-3 after their first 10 road games this season, but only 4-7 at home. They have lost four straight home games and six of their last seven games at Petco Park.

 -- Thursday night marked the ninth start by a Padres rookie pitcher this season. Paddack and Nick Margevicius have each made four starts and Pedro Avila made one.

 -- RF Franmil Reyes’ streak of reaching base ended at seven games after Friday night’s 0-for-4.