Michael Barrett was obtained by the Padres from the Chicago Cubs last week for his offense.
Or was there a catch to it?
In his first week with the Padres, Barrett is proving to be quite a find behind the plate. Just take the final out in Tuesday night’s 3-2 win over San Francisco in 10 innings for example.
Dave Roberts was on first base for the Giants. Trevor Hoffman was pitching for San Diego. It normally doesn’t matter who’s behind the plate, but this time it was Barrett.
Roberts is one of the best base stealers around. Hoffman has a major league record of 502 saves, but it’s not because he can hold runners on base. And the Padres haven’t had any catcher the past couple of years who could throw out base stealers.
So what happens?
Hoffman uses a slide step instead of his normal high leg kick. Barrett throws Roberts out at second attempting to steal. Game over.
The irony is that the Padres have spent all season saying it’s not that important to throw out base stealers; what matters is concentrating on the batter.
But at least in this case, concentrating on the base runner paid off with a win.