Hoffman's aggressive send at third pays off
Third-base coach knew team needed boost on offense
SAN DIEGO -- Glenn Hoffman didn't just know the score on Friday when he frantically waved home Clint Barmes in the eighth, the Padres' third-base coach also had a firm grasp on the bigger picture.
The Padres were scuffling offensively, not just Friday, but they had gone 22 consecutive innings without scoring a run.
"We needed a little break," Hoffman said.
With that in mind, Hoffman waved home Barmes from first base on Wil Myers' double off the right-field fence with what became the game-winning run in the Padres' 1-0 victory over the Giants at Petco Park.
It wasn't a no-brainer for Hoffman and, in all honesty, a well-executed relay throw might have cut down Barmes at the plate, but with the Padres (2-3) in an offensive funk, this calls for a gamble.
"We haven't scored in a while, we needed a lift," Hoffman said. "It worked out."
But, as Hoffman said after, his decision to send Barmes had more to do with guts and guile.
"Clint got a good jump. The ball ended up scooting away from the outfielder [right fielder Gregor Blanco] a little bit," Hoffman said. "There was a little window."
Barmes, who walked with one out, agreed that he got a good jump, though he essentially had to stop to make sure Blanco wasn't going to catch Myers' line drive.
"I felt like I got good jump off the bat, but then I had to stop and hesitate to make sure it was over his head," Barmes said. "When I realized I still saw his numbers [on the back of his jersey], I realized he wasn't going to make the play, I put my head down and tried to start back up again."
San Francisco second baseman Joe Panik, who took the throw from Blanco and relayed it to the catcher, Hector Sanchez, wasn't surprised the Padres were aggressive.
"After the ball kicked off the fence past Blanco, I knew they were going to send him. And the way our 'pen is throwing and their 'pen is throwing, you have to be aggressive," Panik said.
Barmes ended up drawing contact with the right arm of Sanchez, as Panik's throw was up the third base line. Barmes slid home with the only run of the game, making his long gallop to the plate from first base look easy.
Only that wasn't the case at all, he said.
"My legs got a little heavy rounding third," Barmes said, smiling.