When San Diego Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatís Jr. came to plate in the ninth inning against the Houston Astros on Saturday, his team had a 96.1 percent chance of losing the game. Yes, Tatís represented the potential tying run, but the Padres were down to their last out. In defiance of those aforementioned odds, here’s what happened:
Tatís took that Ryan Pressly fastball and turned it around — to the tune of 114.9 mph off the bat and 448 feet to the tracks — for a game-tying three-run homer. That’s Tatís’s 15th homer of the season, and he’s reached that mark in just 36 games thanks to injury. Tatís, who signed a $340 million contract extension this past winter, is now slashing .298/.377/.702. That .702 slugging percentage leads the majors.
Anyhow, Tatís’ clutch blast helped send the game to extras, and the Padres eventually won it 11-8 in 12 innings. Wil Myers hit a three-run homer in that decisive 12th frame. With the win, the Padres moved to 8-0 in interleague play this season, and they remain 1 1/2 games ahead of the Giants in the rough-and-tumble NL West.
That high-leverage homer above, as it turns out, might not have been Tatís’ biggest miracle of this game. Please regard the following unaltered action sports footage from the top of the eighth:
So we’ve got an apparently “rubberized femur” maneuver leading into a deep split. As evasive measures go, this one is replicated at great personal hazard. Because Tatís is a young professional athlete who very likely does flexibility and mobility training, he was not injured by doing what you witnessed above. The rest of us can only watch, wonder, and recoil.