The Texas Rangers are citing the unwritten rules of baseball to justify their unhappiness after Fernando Tatis Jr. hit an eighth-inning grand slam in the San Diego Padres’ 14-4 win on Monday night.
Rangers manager Chris Woodward told reporters after the game he “didn’t like” Tatis going for a home run by swinging on a 3-0 pitch.
“You’re up by seven in the eighth inning; it’s typically not a good time [to swing] 3-0,” Woodward said. “It’s kind of the way we were all raised in the game. But … the norms are being challenged.”
Holding a 10-3 lead in the top of the eighth, Tatis swung at a 3-0 fastball from Juan Nicasio that landed in the right-field seats.
Per MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell, Tatis was given a take sign from Padres third base coach Glenn Hoffman that he didn’t notice.
“I was locked in on the game, just trying to produce for my team,” Tatis said. “That was on me. I didn’t look to my third-base coach. I was just trying to take a good pitch and put my barrel on it.”
Padres manager Jayce Tingler said afterward he did talk with his young shortstop about making sure he is paying attention to signs.
“He’s young, a free spirit and focused and all those things,” Tingler said. “That’s the last thing that we’ll ever take away. But it’s a learning opportunity.”
Ian Gibaut, who relieved Nicasio immediately after Tatis’ homer, threw his first pitch behind Manny Machado. The umpires convened to discuss the situation, but there were no ejections or warnings for either side.
Tatis currently leads Major League Baseball in homers (11) and RBI (28). He homered twice Monday and had seven RBI.