With the Dodgers-Padres rivalry heating up, Trevor Bauer refused to throw gasoline on the fire after Fernando Tatis Jr. celebrated his two home runs by mocking the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner on his way around the bases.
Tatis led off Saturday night's game with a homer off Bauer. Tatis covered his right eye, a fitting way to taunt the Dodgers' righthander, who pitched with one eye closed in a start against San Diego in spring training.
Yet Bauer, baseball's Troller-in-Chief, was steadfast in his support of the San Diego shortstop's choice of celebration.
“I like it," Bauer said in his postgame press conference. "I think that pitchers that have that done to them and react by throwing at people ... I think it’s pretty soft. If you give up a homer, a guy should celebrate it. It’s hard to hit in the big leagues.
"So I’m all for it, and I think that it’s important that the game moves in that direction and that we stop throwing at people because they celebrated having some success on the field.”
After his second home run of the night off Bauer, Tatis added another taunt as he crossed home plate—a Conor McGregor-inspired strut with flailing arms that Bauer often deploys. Bauer also traded playful jests with Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer in Saturday's game.
Despite giving up two solo shots to Tatis, Bauer earned his third win of the season as the Dodgers beat the Padres, 5–4. He struck out nine over six innings and allowed just three runs (two earned).
"That's what it is to be a competitor," Bauer said. "I'm going to go at you. I'm going to get you sometimes, and you're going to get me sometimes. We can have fun, we can celebrate it while we're still competing at the highest level. I just thought that was an important note tonight."
Tatis became the first player with back-to-back, two-home-run games against Cy Young Award winners, according to Elias Sports Bureau. On Friday, the 22-year-old homered twice off Clayton Kershaw on the 22-year anniversary of his father hitting two grand slams in the same inning at Dodger Stadium.
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