The Los Angeles Dodgers were one out away from suffering their first loss to the San Francisco Giants in five meetings this season when Austin Barnes delivered a game-tying pinch-hit home run.
“I was just trying to get a pitch down in the zone and put a good swing on it. I wasn’t trying to hit a home run, but I was trying to pull one,” Bares said. “Thankfully got a barrel, and it went out.”
Though, all it did was delay the defeat as the Giants pushed across three runs in the 10th inning to notch an 8-5 win. Nevertheless, it was Barnes’ first pinch-hit homer of his career and overall second long ball of the week — with both coming against the Giants.
“I feel good at the plate right now. I feel like I can do some damage to balls in the zone right now,” he said after the loss. “It’s just staying within yourself and taking aggressive swings in the zone. I feel like I’m doing a better job of doing a little bit of damage to the baseball.
“I’ve always had a pretty good ability to check balls off and work counts, but it works better when you do some damage to those in the strike zone.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently expressed his belief that Barnes’ mechanics were the best they have been since his breakout 2017 season. Unfortunately for the 31-year-old, he’s yet consistently to replicate that success at the plate.
After a modest showing through the first month of the season, Barnes is batting .278/.350/.528 with three doubles, two home runs and nine RBI.
Barnes believed Pujols delivered walk-off
With Dodger Stadium still buzzing after Barnes’ dramatic line-drive home run, the crowd was sent into another frenzy when Albert Pujols connected for his own drive to left field. Players came rushing out of the dugout, only for Mike Tauchman to make a leaping catch that robbed Pujols of a walk-off home run.
“I thought it was about to be pretty exciting in here. That was an unbelievable play by their left fielder. I thought Albert got it,” Barnes said. “The dugout was about to go crazy. It would’ve been fun. Great swing, but a great play.
“He was on the ground for a while, so I was like, ‘Does he have the ball or not?’ But the way he reacted looked like he had it from the beginning. I think he kind of slow-played it a little.”
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