28 September 2020

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Aug 20, 2020; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer (center) celebrates with shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (23) after hitting a grand-slam home run during the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego Padres Become the First Team in MLB History to Hit 4 Grand Slams in 4 Consecutive Games:

The San Diego Padres created Major League Baseball history by hitting four grand slams in four consecutive games. The previous consecutive game grand slam record of three games was a tie between four teams, three in the American League and one in the National League. In the AL, the last team to accomplish the feat was the 2006 Chicago White Sox and the previous two teams to do it were the 1993 Detroit Tigers, and the 1978 Milwaukee Brewers. The Padres, however, are in the National League and the NL hadn’t seen the record happen since the 1895 Cleveland Spiders against the Boston Beaneaters. Each grand slam was hit by a different player: Fernando Tatis Jr., Wil Myers, Manny Machado, and Eric Hosmer, and were all against the same opponent, the Texas Rangers.

The first came on August 17th, when the San Diego Padres began a split four-game series against the Rangers, with the first two games in Texas, and the final two in San Diego. The Padres took a big lead against the Rangers going into the 8th inning with their superstar shortstop, Fernando Tatis Jr. up to bat with the bases loaded. Tatis has been tearing through the league and hit a home run earlier in the game to tie him with Mike Trout for the MLB season lead with 10 home runs. With a count of three balls and no strikes, Ranger’s pitcher Juan Nicasio knew he had to throw a strike since ball 4 would force in another run. Tatis knew the pitch would be an easy pitch down the middle, so he swung and connected for a grand slam that extended the lead from 10-3 to 14-3. This grand slam sparked a big conversation on MLB’s “unwritten rules” which includes not swinging at a 3-0 pitch when you’re up by more than 6 runs “for the integrity of the game,” but players across the league came to Tatis’s support. The Padres would win the first game in the series by a score of 14-4.

The next day during game two of the series, outfielder Wil Myers came to bat with the bases loaded in the first inning against Rangers’ starter Mike Minor. Myers sent a 2 ball-2 strike pitch into the visitor’s bullpen in the new Ranger’s new stadium Globe Life Field for an early 4-0 lead. This grand slam would prove to be the ultimate difference as the Padres would win the game by a score of 6-4.

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Grand slam #3 came the following game, this time in San Diego. Game three was much closer, with the game going into extra innings. The Rangers scored in the top of the 10th inning to take a 3-2 lead, but Rangers pitcher Rafael Montero found himself in a jam with bases loaded and only 1 out. Third baseman Manny Machado was at-bat with the bases loaded and full count (3 balls, and 2 strikes). Montero threw a pitch down the middle of the strike zone and Machado didn’t miss it. He crushed a no-doubt, walk-off Grand Slam for the Padres for a 6-3 win. It was Machado’s 6th career walk-off home run, and his second career walk-off grand slam. Coincidentally, the previous one happened exactly three years ago to the day on August 19th, 2017 against the Los Angeles Angels. With this grand slam, the Padres did something no National League team had been able to accomplish since 1895: hit three grand slams in three straight games. History was on the line for the next game, which would be the final between these two opponents. 

In the bottom of the 5th inning of the following night, Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer stepped up to bat with the bases loaded against Rangers’ starter Kyle Gibson. The Padres were down 2-1. The Padres had tied a record the night before and were now given the opportunity to set a new one. No team in MLB history had ever hit a grand slam in 4 straight games, but that was all about to change. Eric Hosmer swung at a 1 ball-1 strike inside on his hands and fittingly launched it into the T-Mobile Home Run porch in Petco Park. The Padres had done it, becoming the first team in MLB history to hit a grand slam in 4 straight games. The Padres would go on to win the game in extra innings, this time by a score of 8-7 on a walk-off single by infielder Jake Cronnenworth.

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