Padres make MLB history with grand slam in 4th straight game

The San Diego Padres have responded to an unwritten rules controversy by recording some very real history.

With Eric Hosmer’s grand slam in Thursday’s game against the Texas Rangers, the Padres have made MLB history as the first team to hit grand slams in four straight games.

Hosmer’s history-making slam came in the fifth inning, taking an inside fastball quickly down the left-field line. The Padres’ announcers were more than a little excited.

Just start printing the “Slam Diego” shirts now.

Hosmer’s grand slam was preceded by Manny Machado on Wednesday, Wil Myers on Tuesday and Fernando Tatis Jr. on Monday, all against the Rangers. Of course, that initial slam from Tatis is what had the baseball world keeping an eye on the series.

San Diego Padres' Eric Hosmer, facing camera, reacts with teammates after hitting a grand slam during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
From Fernando Tatis Jr. to Eric Hosmer (center), it's been a fun, and controversial, series for the Padres. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Padres respond to grand slam controversy with grand slam history

The controversy began with Tatis’ swing of the bat on Monday, which came with the Padres up seven runs on a 3-0 count. As we all know, Tatis took the ball deep to take the MLB lead in home runs with 11. The Rangers clearly weren’t happy, as reliever Ian Gibaut then threw a ball behind on Machado on the next pitch.

After the game, Rangers manager Chris Woodward had some complaints about Tatis swinging at the pitch:

“I think there's a lot of unwritten rules that are constantly being challenged in today's game,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said at his news conference after the game. “Yeah, I didn't like it, personally. You're up by seven in the eighth inning — it's typically not a good time to swing 3-0. It's kind of the way we were all raised in the game. But, like I said, the norms are being challenged on a daily basis, so just because I don't like it doesn't mean it's not right. I don't think we liked it as a group.”

Padres manager Jayce Tingler essentially agreed, saying Tatis missed a take sign and that the experience was a “learning opportunity.” Tatis later apologized, which probably isn’t what MLB should want to see from its breakout star of 2020 after hitting a grand slam to take the MLB lead in homers.

Making the situation even more ridiculous was the fact that a seven-run lead absolutely isn’t a safe lead; the Toronto Blue Jays came back from down 7-0 to win the same day as Hosmer’s grand slam. Woodward and Gibault both received suspensions for the retaliation against Machado, and have now watched the Padres hang more than 30 runs on their team over the course of four games.

The whole saga was an exhausting reminder of how entrenched unwritten rules are in today’s game, but, as it turns out, Tatis’ slam was also the first leg of a very fun slice of MLB history.

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