Tatis befuddles on bases ... THREE times

July 18th, 2021

WASHINGTON -- Tag him if you can.

Padres shortstop owns five truly dazzling tools, but there's an argument to be made that his elite baserunning is the most exhilarating. And he put it on full display against the Nationals on Saturday night.

Tatis tagged and scored on a foul popup in the first inning, he turned a check-swing grounder into a double in the fourth inning and he avoided a tag with a ridiculous juke step around third base in the sixth.

Tatis also was 4-for-4 when the game was suspended in the sixth inning because of a reported shooting incident outside Nationals Park. The game, which the Padres lead, 8-4, will resume at 1:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, and the full nine innings will be played.

If you're an infielder backpedaling to make a catch with Tatis on third base, well, good luck. He has made a habit out of tagging and scoring on popups to infielders -- and he did it again in the first inning.

Washington shortstop Trea Turner did everything right, too, making a nice running play in foul territory on Manny Machado’s 216-foot fly ball to shallow left field. Turner then planted his foot and delivered an off-balance strike to the plate.

But Tatis motored home, sliding in just ahead of René Rivera's tag. On the play, Tatis' sprint speed reached 30.5 feet per second (and 30 feet per second is considered elite).

Three innings later, Tatis was at it again on the bases, this time turning a check-swing roller into a double. Tatis took a weak hack at a slow curveball from Patrick Corbin and surprised even himself when he made contact. The ball trickled into right field, and Tatis sped to second base for a double.

In the sixth, Tatis appeared to be in a bit of trouble when Nationals left fielder Josh Harrison threw behind him at third base. Turner fielded the throw with Tatis scrambling, and Tatis sidestepped the tag, before planting his foot on the bag.