Luis Barrera did not have a great start to his Saturday. He had entered the game as a pinch runner in the seventh inning, and was promptly doubled off base on a shallow fly to center field. Then, in the eighth inning, he made an error on a base hit by Andrew Velasquez, allowing the Angels to extend the lead by an additional run.
By the time he came up to bat in the bottom of the ninth, it was easy to expect that the worst would happen. Yes, the Oakland A’s had put together a two out rally against Rasiel Iglesias, but Barrera had not exactly proven much with the bat in his brief time in the majors. He had all of three hits in 19 plate appearances, hardly a track record that would inspire any confidence.
Luis Barrera finds redemption with one swing of the bat
This is why the games are played out on the diamond. Barrera was able to redeem himself with one swing of the bat, launching Iglesias’ 1-1 slider to right for a walk-off three run bomb. It was his first major league homer and first extra base hit for that matter.
That home run could also make a major difference for Barrera going forward. He completely changed the narrative of his performance during Game One of the double header. Barrera would have been the goat, his baserunning gaffe and subsequent error being the story. It would have been fair to wonder how much longer he would have been given to prove himself at the major league level.
But now, he may have a new life. That home run could give him the confidence needed to take that step in his development, allowing him to become a viable major league option. Yes, it was just one swing of the bat, but it could mean so much more for a player that needed that hope.
Luis Barrera was on his way to being the goat in Game One for the Oakland A’s. Instead, he found redemption with his first MLB homer.