You won't want to miss this Padres-A's series

September 4th, 2020

Two of the best teams in baseball will face off in Oakland this weekend when the Padres visit the A’s. The A’s have the third-best record in the Majors and currently lead the AL West, while the Padres are the fourth seed in the NL playoff picture at the moment. Each team’s playoff odds are in the 99% range, according to FanGraphs.

But they aren’t just good -- they’re a ton of fun to watch. There’s no question that they’ve been two of the most exciting teams all season. The A’s lead the Majors with four walk-off wins. The Padres scored seven runs with two outs in the final inning to win a game last week.

Every time either of these teams plays, there’s another memorable moment. Sometimes it’s a homer, or a defensive gem, but just as frequently, it’s something aside from a play itself. The energy that these clubs bring to the field is palpable.

You just have to see these teams. There are so many reasons to watch them, and you will feel the excitement the moment you tune in. Here are some GIFs to show why you should spend your holiday weekend tuning in to the Padres at the A’s.

Fernando Tatis Jr. is electric

At just 21 years old, the Padres’ shortstop is the leader right now in the NL MVP race. He's tied for the most home runs in the Majors, and he has the most RBIs and total bases, too. Only two 21-year-olds have led the Majors in home runs in a season, and the most recent was Eddie Mathews in 1953.

He’s really, really good, and seeing a player be outstanding is always fun. Even beyond that, he’s simply a joy to watch. He exudes energy every time he does something on the field, and it’s hard not to smile while watching him play.

Here’s his dugout celebration after hitting a leadoff home run on Aug. 7, his second straight game with a homer in a streak that stretched to four games.

He’s the most captivating player on the field right now at any position, with style and swagger to accompany his next-level skill set.

Matt Chapman’s defensive wizardry

You just never know what’s going to happen when a ball is hit to third base with the A’s Chapman standing there -- but you can almost guarantee it’ll turn into an out. He’s won the Gold Glove Award at third base in each of his full seasons in the Majors, and he was voted the Platinum Glove winner in the AL in each season as well.

In a game against the Angels in mid-August, Chapman took a hit away from future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols, snagging a liner with a 1.2-second hang time.

The play happened in the bottom of the third inning, and Chapman -- who was 3-for-5 in the game with two homers and a triple -- had a moment for a quick chat with Pujols later in the game.

“Pujols was like, ‘Why are you always taking RBIs and runs from me?’ I said, ‘I figured you already had enough,'” Chapman said after the game.

Trent Grisham is counting his homers for you

When Grisham hit his first home run of the season for the Padres, he threw up a ‘one’ with his finger as he flipped his bat, and he didn’t stop there. He’s been keeping track.

Here’s his third home run this year.

And his eighth and most recent.

That’s the American Sign Language symbol for eight -- a method Grisham has been employing since his sixth homer, which should help even more when he reaches double figures.

Jesús Luzardo is nasty

Luzardo is one of those pitchers who is almost guaranteed to end up in a GIF on Twitter during a start -- because his pitches are filthy. The lefty, who’s averaging 95.7 mph on fastballs this season, is scheduled to pitch on Friday. His average fastball velocity is tops among lefties with at least 250 fastballs thrown this season.

Here he is throwing heat against Rangers slugger Joey Gallo earlier this year.

To go along with that fire, he has a curveball and slider which each have a 45% whiff rate or higher. That means opponents miss on almost half of their swings on either pitch. Best of luck hitting against him.

All of the grand slams

The A’s began the season with a 10th-inning walk-off grand slam from Matt Olson on Opening Day. Since then, they’ve hit two more grand slams, both by Stephen Piscotty and both in the ninth inning. That’s two walk-off grand slams for the team this season, tied for a Major League record, and two ninth-inning slams for Piscotty, also tied for the record.

Olson's Opening Day walk-off was a shot.

The Padres, meanwhile, have hit six grand slams this season, including a stretch in mid August where they hit one in four straight games -- setting a Major League record and prompting the nickname ‘Slam Diego.’ Here are all four of those.

The Padres hit six grand slams in August, tied for the most by a team in a calendar month in history. No other team has more than three grand slams this season.