MLB

Padres 'optimistic' Tatis will return against World Series champs Dodgers

By Sports Desk April 15, 2021

The San Diego Padres are "optimistic" star Fernando Tatis Jr. will return for Friday's showdown with MLB World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Tatis – who signed an eye-popping 14-year, $340million contract extension with the Padres before the start of the season – has been on the injured list since suffering a subluxation of his left shoulder on April 5.

But the 22-year-old shortstop is poised to make his comeback, according to Padres manager Jayce Tingler.

"He took a live [batting practice] today," Tinger told reporters on Thursday. "Probably had his best day today as far as the at-bats.

"We have to go over a couple of things with the medical team.

"We're optimistic that he has a good chance to be ready to play tomorrow."

Tatis won a Silver Slugger award last season, having hit .277 with 17 home runs and 45 RBIs in the coronavirus-shortened 2020 campaign.

He is the first player in MLB history to have at least 35 home runs and 25 stolen bases within the first 150 games of his career.

Tatis packs a punch with the bat – he led the majors in average exit velocity (95.9 mph), hard hit percentage (62.2), and balls hit 95-plus MPH (102) last season.

 

Related items

  • Red Sox blow six-run lead against the Orioles, Taillon delivers on the mound for the Yankees Red Sox blow six-run lead against the Orioles, Taillon delivers on the mound for the Yankees

    The Boston Red Sox could not finish the job with a six-run lead against the Baltimore Orioles, going down 12-8 after leading 8-2 through the sixth inning.

    It was a red-hot start for the surging Red Sox, who had won seven of their past eight games leading into Friday's contest, jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning thanks in large part to a three-run homer from Xander Bogaerts.

    Boston's lead was extended to 6-0 in the second inning through a bases-loaded automatic double from Alex Verdugo, before the Orioles finally got on the board through a two-run home run from Anthony Santander in the fourth inning.

    Those would be the only runs given up by Red Sox starter Garrett Whitlock, who pitched six full innings for two earned runs from five hits and one walk, striking out four; but when he was withdrawn, everything fell apart for the home side.

    The Orioles would score 10 runs in the final three frames, as a three-run blast from Jorge Mateo in the seventh and a two-run homer in the eighth from Austin Hays quickly helped make it 8-8 heading into the final inning.

    Baltimore racked up another five hits in the ninth as the Boston bullpen simply could not close the show, before Orioles closer Jorge Lopez showed them how it was done, retiring the last three Red Sox batters in order.

    Taillon pitches a gem for Yankees

    The New York Yankees have extended their league-best record to 33-13 after a 2-0 shutout win away at the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday.

    It was all about Yankees starting pitcher Jameson Taillon, who proved nearly unhittable, pitching eight complete innings for just two hits and no walks, striking out five in the process.

    The Yankees were kept scoreless in eight of their innings as well, but had a pair of game-winning swings of the bat in the fourth frame, with solo home runs to Gleyber Torres and Matt Carpenter.

    Carpenter has only been with the Yankees for less than a week, being picked up in the midst of an injury crisis after he was released by the Texas Rangers.

    Polar Bear delivers for Mets

    New York Mets first-baseman Pete Alonso – nicknamed the 'Polar Bear' – was terrific in his side's 8-6 win against the Philadelphia Phillies, finishing with a game-high four RBIs.

    Alonso drove in his first run in the first inning through a sacrifice-fly, before doing it in a more emphatic fashion in the third frame, hitting a 400-foot, two-run home run to left-field.

    His fourth RBI came from another hard-hit ball, this time a double to deep right-field, opening up a 7-0 lead in the process.

    The Phillies would threaten a comeback, cutting the margin back to 7-6, but the Mets' bullpen was able to shut things down in the final three innings.

  • Brilliant Buttler blasts Royals into IPL final with another hundred Brilliant Buttler blasts Royals into IPL final with another hundred

    The latest episode in Jos Buttler's outstanding 2022 IPL took Rajasthan Royals through to the final and a rematch with Gujarat Titans.

    The Royals were beaten by the Titans in the first qualifier, forcing them to face Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday for a place in the season's showpiece.

    Buttler ensured RCB were soundly beaten, smashing an unbeaten 106 off 60 balls to clinch a seven-wicket victory.

    The Royals still had 11 balls to spare when Buttler's sixth six completed the job on 161-3.

    None of the England star's team-mates had to pass 25 runs as he did all the heavy lifting in partnerships of 61 with Yashasvi Jaiswal, 52 with Sanju Samson, 35 with Devdutt Padikkal and 13 with Shimron Hetmyer in reply to RCB's 157-8.

    A stunning Buttler catch had removed the dangerous Rajat Patidar (58) in the outstanding moment of the RCB innings, too, as his almost single-handed pursuit of the title continued.

    Buttler blowing away the competition

    This has long since been Buttler's best IPL campaign, and there remains a slim chance he also takes the tournament record. In pursuit of Virat Kohli's 973 runs in 2016, he moved on to 824 for this tournament with his fourth century. The rest of the players in this year's IPL have produced only four hundreds between them.

    As well as the most runs in the 2022 IPL, Buttler leads the way for fours (78, 26 clear of second place) and sixes (45, 11 clear).

    Top two tussle once again

    This will be the Royals' first final since the inaugural IPL in 2008, when they took the title, but Rajasthan will have their work cut out against a Titans side who are in their debut season.

    Gujarat finished two points ahead of the second-placed Royals in the points table, having won the match between the pair by 37 runs. The margin in the subsequent qualifier was seven wickets. Buttler top-scored for Rajasthan on both occasions, but their opponents have collectively shown they have the firepower to match him.

  • Marcelo and Courtois hail Ancelotti impact ahead of Champions League final Marcelo and Courtois hail Ancelotti impact ahead of Champions League final

    Real Madrid duo Marcelo and Thibaut Courtois have hailed Carlo Ancelotti's impact on the side on the eve of their Champions League final clash with Liverpool, with the former saying he is "lucky" to have worked with the Italian.

    Ancelotti has made a stunning impact since returning to the club he led to the 2014 Champions League title, winning LaLiga by a 13-point margin and leading Los Blancos to the showpiece event in Paris against all odds.

    Madrid have become the first team to reach the competition's final after losing a game in each of the last 16, quarter-finals, and semi-finals, while Ancelotti could win the trophy for a fourth time as head coach.

    That would make the Italian the most successful boss in the competition's history outright, and he has won three of his previous four Champions League finals – though his one such defeat came against Liverpool as Milan boss in 2005.

    Speaking alongside Ancelotti at Madrid's pre-match press conference in Paris, both players hailed the Italian's abilities to communicate with Los Blancos' star-studded squad, with Marcelo saying he felt fortunate to have worked under the 62-year-old.

    "I've known him for eight years, I've been lucky enough to train with him," the Brazilian said of his head coach.

    "He understands football very well and knows how to manage the locker room. It's normal that we all want to play. 

    "This season we haven't had almost any problems, the coach leaves us alone, tells us the truth. That gives confidence to work."

    Madrid goalkeeper Courtois, who is yet to win European football's biggest prize and was a runner-up to Los Blancos when on loan at Atletico Madrid in 2014, echoed the left-back's praise of Ancelotti, crediting him and his staff with fostering an excellent team spirit at the Santiago Bernabeu.

    "The good dynamics of the team is due to the coaching staff, we train very well and we know that they make decisions," he said.

    "But they manage it very well, everyone has played. That's why we are where we are."

    Including Marcelo, Madrid have four different players in their squad to have made 100 or more Champions League appearances (Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Marcelo, and David Alaba). 

    They could become the first team to name a starting XI in the competition's final featuring four or more players with a century of Champions League appearances, having fielded three in their 2018 final win over Jurgen Klopp's team (Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, and Sergio Ramos).

    Meanwhile, Marcelo, who is out of contract at the end of this season, says any decision on whether he will extend his 15-year stay with Madrid will be made after the final.

    While the 34-year-old was unwilling to give any hints as to where his future may lie, he referred to the Spanish giants as "the club of his life", and says the team has given him "everything" in his career.

    "Everyone knows my passion and my love for the club of my life, which is Madrid," Marcelo added. 

    "[Former club] Fluminense was in its time, it gave me everything at the beginning. Madrid has given me everything too. 

    "I won't say what I think now. I don't want a statue, my story is made in Madrid, and I will continue to do so. After the final, we'll see what we do."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.