Padres-Dodgers: Fernando Tatis Jr. hoping to replicate 2021 success in Los Angeles
By Kevin Henry
After battling last weekend at Petco Park, the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers reunite this weekend at Dodger Stadium to begin a three-game set on Friday night. It will be the first visit to Chavez Ravine for Fernando Tatis Jr. since he put some monster numbers up there during the 2021 season.
San Diego Padres: Will Fernando Tatis Jr. continue his power-hitting ways on the road against the Los Angeles Dodgers?
Tatis last played inside Dodger Stadium on September 30, 2021, missing the entire 2022 season because of injuries and a PED suspension. While Tatis may have lost a season of getting to play against the Dodgers and the rest of MLB, he is undoubtedly more than ready to return to a stadium where he feasted in record-setting ways in 10 games in 2021.
In 40 at-bats during the 2021 season on the road against the Dodgers, Tatis slashed .368/.400/.921 with seven home runs, 11 RBI, and four stolen bases. His seven homers hit inside Dodger Stadium in 2021 are the most for any Padres player ever in a season series on the road in Los Angeles.
Included in that stretch was a run during the four-game series in April where Tatis went 5-for-10 with four home runs.
The Padres could certainly use Tatis flashing his power in Los Angeles, coming into the series with a 19-19 mark and 4.0 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West standings. While Los Angeles did take two of three games in San Diego last weekend, Tatis was a difference-maker in the lone win, a 5-2 victory to open the series. Tatis crushed a pair of homers off Los Angeles southpaw Clayton Kershaw, leading to the much-discussed image on the Petco Park scoreboard after the game.
After a pointed message delivered by manager Bob Melvin after the Padres dropped a road series against the Minnesota Twins, look for the Padres to try to send a message this weekend that this team, with Tatis as a big part of it, is ready to contend with the Dodgers for the NL West title.