Results tagged ‘ Brandon Crawford ’
Remember last year when Brandon Crawford finished second in All-Star voting at shortstop, and people cried out injustice.
Well if he finishes second again this year, they may cry injustice again … but this time because Crawford didn’t finish first.
It’s still early, but Crawford still building a season with All-Star credentials with the bat to go with his soon-to-be Golden Glove.
Crawford delivered an RBI double to right-center in the seventh, giving the Giants a 1-0 lead.
After the Diamondbacks rallied to take the lead in the ninth, Crawford smacked a solo home run to right to tie the game.
So who is leading the Giants in hitting this season? Brandon Crawford (.320).
Who leads the Giants in home runs? Brandon Crawford (4, tied with Hunter Pence)
Crawford’s late inning heroics — it was the third time in three games that the Giants tied the game in the eighth or ninth innings with a home run — went for naught as the Diamondbacks tallied a run in the 10th for the win, and to take the series.
But that was only because Crawford didn’t get a chance to bat in the 10th. He was on deck when Joaquin Arias made the final out.
- Despite the series loss, the Giants still had a 4-2 homestand, maintaining their pace of winning at home (8-4) and playing .500 baseball on the road (5-5).
- Bochy did his let-the-pitcher-hit-only-to-yank-him-in-the-next-inning strategy again. With a runner on third and one out (and the Giants leading 1-0), Bochy let Bumgarner hit. He struck out. The next half inning, Bumgarner was lifted after allowing the tying run to score with one out. I would have preferred to see Bochy get that run in from third, then hand a 2-0 lead over to the bullpen.
- Sketchy defense hurt the Giants again. Arizona’s ninth-inning rally was started with two outs when Angel Pagan misread a pop-up by Didi Gregorious. Instead a fly out to shallow center and the third out, Pagan went back at first and the ball dropped for a hit. To make matters worse, Pagan didn’t react quickly enough to make a play on Gregorious as he tried to take second.
There were two issues at play when it came to drafting a shortstop for my fantasy baseball team.
First, there was my undying allegiance to the Giants. And then there was the fact that I was the last owner in my league to draft a shortstop. As there weren’t a lot of exciting names left on the draft board, I figured ‘why not go with a Giant.’
So I picked Brandon Crawford.
But I also felt after his solid spring that Crawford was ready to make a significant contribution to the Giants with his bat as well as his glove.
Heading into this week, Matt Holliday was the highest scoring position player on my fantasy team. Just behind in the No. 2 spot … Brandon Crawford.
Crawford is MoreSplashHits’ pick for the San Francisco Giants player of the week for Week 3 after he hit .381 (8 for 21) with two home runs, two RBI and 6 runs scored in six games. Crawford had been so hot that manager Bruce Bochy moved Crawford from his normal No. 8 position in the lineup to No. 5 and No. 6 for a couple of games.
Crawford currently sits second on the Giants with home runs with 3. Among Giants starters, he leads the team in hitting at .317 (Nick Noonan is hitting .389 in 18 ABs) and he leads all Giants (with more than 5 ABs) in slugging (.524) and OPS (.927).
We don’t know how long B-Craw can keep this going. But as long as he does, it’s good news for me — as a Giants fan and a fantasy baseball owner.
When the Giants handed the starting shortstop job to Brandon Crawford prior to the 2012 season, they told him that all he had to worry about was playing good defense.
The Giants would take any kind of offensive production he could offer.
But I’ve always like what I saw from Crawford, from the day he got called up to the majors. And it wasn’t just his grand slam in Milwaukee in his big-league debut. Even as he battled to hit .200 for the Giants that season, he just had the look of a good hitter.
But results have been slow in coming. Crawford followed up his .204 2011 season by hitting .248 in 2012. I felt 2013 could be a big season at the plate for Crawford. It was one reason why I drafted him in fantasy baseball league (and, yes, it’s an NL-only league; and, yes, I was the last owner to select a shortstop).
After a quiet first week, Crawford is starting to produce at the bottom of the lineup, and Tuesday brought one of the bigger moments of the brief big-league career.
With the Giants trailing 6-2 in the bottom of the sixth, the Giants got something going after walks to Gregor Blanco and Hector Sanchez to open the inning. Colorado starter Juan Nicasio was replaced by Adam Ottavino.
Crawford greeted Ottavino with a three-run home run to left — his first opposite-field home run since opening the 2011 with Class A San Jose rehabbing a broken finger suffered in spring training that year.
“I’ve kind of lost the feeling for opposite-field home runs,” Crawford quipped afterwards.
It was only his second home run in 363 at-bats at AT&T Park, and it was the first home run this season for a Giant not named Pence or Sandoval.
Here’s another interesting home run fact for Crawford: he’s hit eight home runs in his career — three have been three-run homers and two have been grand slams.
The Giants don’t need Crawford to be a .300 hitter for them to succeed. But if he manages to hit .260 or .270, it will be big boost.
And Tuesday’s win wasn’t just about Crawford’s blast. It was a team effort. Every Giant who took at least one plate appearance Tuesday got a hit or a walk — well, except Brandon Belt who went 0 for 5.
Angel Pagan went 3 for 5, Marco Scutaro went 3 for 4, Pablo Sandoval was 1 for 3, Hunter Pence was 2 for 5, Blanco was 1 for 3 with two walks, Sanchez drew two walks (SANCHEZ!!!). Even Tim Lincecum and pinch-hitters Nick Noonan and Andres Torres were 1 for 1, as the Giants banged out 14 hits and drew six walks.
And the bullpen was once again outstanding in relief of Lincecum, throwing four shutout innings, allowing no hits and only one walk. Good job by Jose Mijares, George Kontos, Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo, who is now 5-for-5 on save pops.
Lincecum had a terrible second inning, but he might have escaped trouble with a little help from his defense. After walking Troy Tulowitzki to open the inning, Michael Cuddyer hit grounder to Marco Scutaro. Instead of taking the sure out at first, Scutaro try to throw the lead runner out at second. His throw was off the mark, allowing Tulowitzki to take third. Todd Helton’s infield chopper brought the first out of the inning, but it also allowed Tulowitzki to score. After a walk to Wilin Rosario, a wild pitch and stolen base put runners on second and third, Lincecum struck out Chris Nelson for the second out. With the pitcher Nicasio up next, it looked as if Lincecum would get out of the jam having allowed just the one run (on zero hits). But Lincecum inexcusably walked Nicasio to load the bases. Dexter Fowler followed with a two-run double, and Josh Rutledge hit a two-run single to make it a five-run rally.
“You have to feel good after the team wins, especially coming back from the hole I put them in there in the second inning,” Lincecum said. “I feel good about that. But I’m going back to the chalkboard after every start and going into refining mode and trying to fix the errors. That second inning really was a doozy for me.”
Yes, it was.
Pablo Sandoval was the MVP of the 2012 World Series. And that was an easy call.
The Panda hit .500 (8 for 16) with three home runs, four RBI, a double and only two strikeouts. And, of course, he had the three-homer game.
But there were a lot of MVPs in the World Series for the Giants. Here are others:
RHP Tim Lincecum 4.2 IP, 0 hits, 0 runs, one walk, eight strikeouts
RHP Sergio Romo 3 IP, 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, five strikeouts, three saves
LHP Madison Bumgarner 7 IP, 2 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts, 1 win.
RHP Ryan Vogelsong, 5.2 IP, 5 hits, 0 run, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts, 1 win
OF Gregor Blanco, 4-15 (.267), 3B, RBI, three great catches, great relay throw to Marco Scutaro to get Prince Fielder at the plate
C Buster Posey, 4-15 (.267), HR, 3 RBI, caught outstanding series, two shutouts.
LHP Barry Zito, 5.2 IP, 6 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 1 win, 1-2, RBI
LHP Jeremy Affeldt, 2 IP, 0 hit, 0 run, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
SS Brandon Crawford, 3-12 (.250), RBI, stolen base, outstanding defensive shortstop
Question: What do Chris Speier, Rich Aurilia and Brandon Crawford have in common?
They’re all All-Star shortstops for the San Francisco Giants?
No, not quite. Crawford fell a few votes short of that.
But they are all Giants shortstops who wore the No. 35.
This month, to celebrate MoreSplashHits reaching No. 35 among MLB.com Fan Blogs for the month of June, we celebrate No. 35s in Giants history.
The two big bumps in page views were sparked by Matt Cain’s perfect game and late-month posts on the All-Star voting (we all know Giants fans like to get on the computer). So we thank everyone for the traffic.
No. 35 is the highest MoreSplashHits has reached in the fan blogs Top 50. It is the third consecutive month this season we’ve hit the Top 50 (No. 46 in April and May).
Keeping the string going in July will be tough (vacation). Guess we’ll have to pack the computer and find WIFI hotspots.
Now back to Giants’ No. 35s.
Speier played 10 seasons for the Giants in two stints (1971-1977 and 1987-89). He was an All-Star in 1972-74.
Aurilia also played in two stints with the Giants, playing 12 seasons with the club from 1995-2003 and 2007-09, earning an All-Star start in 2001.
Other notable San Francisco Giants wearing No. 35 include:
- 3B Chris Brown (1984-87): The Tinman, because he was more well-known for collecting odd injuries than hits, was instrumental in the 1987 NL Western Division title. That’s because he was part of the trade that helped the Giants acquire Dave Dravecky, Craig Lefferts and Kevin Mitchell from the Padres.
- C Steve Decker (1991-92): Decker’s claim to fame include being part of the Black-and-Decker battery (with pitcher Bud Black), serving as manager of the Fresno Grizzlies, currently serving as the Giants coordinator for minor-league hitting instruction, and being a resident of Salem, Ore., at the same time as MoreSplashHits.
- P Salomon Torres (1993-95): Torres was once a promising young pitcher for the Giants. But unfortunately his claim to fame is getting lit up by the Dodgers in the regular-season finale when the Giants missed the postseason by one game despite winning 103 games in 1993.
- P Brett Tomko (2005): Who can forget Tomko as a Giant? A lot of folks I would suspect. The only game MoreSplashHits saw the Giants lose at AT&T Park was one when Tomko gave up five runs in the first inning to the Rockies.
In the offseason, the Giants said they would be willing to let Brandon Crawford be their starting shortstop if they upgraded their offense enough.
After adding Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera, it didn’t appear the Giants had done that. Yet Crawford entered camp with the shortstop job his to lose, even with the addition of Ryan Theriot.
We all knew Crawford could pick it at shortstop. But after watching him hit .204 when he was rushed to the majors last season, we weren’t sure if his bat was ready.
But Crawford went to work on his swing in the offseason, making it more compact so he could get on pitches quicker. And the results have been evident this spring.
Crawford belted his first home run of the spring Thursday in the Giants win over the Mariners.
“He’s worked on shortening up his swing, and he’s getting results,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “We know it’s Spring Training, but it’s nice to see him swing the bat.”
He is hitting .400 (14 for 20) with a .520 OBP this spring. And maybe most importantly, no strikeouts in 25 spring plate appearances.
After the Giants drafted Crawford after UCLA, they discovered they had a slick-fielding big shortstop with a big swing.
That big swing left big holes. Crawford had a 24.4 pct. strikeout rate in his first full year in the minors in 2009 (between Class A and AA). In 2010 (also A and AA), it was a 22.7 pct.
When he got called up last year, Crawford knew he needed to focus more on making contact, which he did. His strikeout rate was 14.1 pct in the majors. Unfortunately, the improved contact was often weak contact, result in the average around the Mendoza Line.
Now, he’s making contact, and it’s solid. The Giants have him penciled in for the No. 8 spot in the lineup. And they have Theriot on the lineup to play against tough lefties (Crawford’s average was as even more anemic .133 against lefties).
So expectations are low for Crawford. But he’s exceeding them right now.
- Another day, another Gregor Blanco highlight. Blanco opened the game with a single and went to second when the outfielder bobbled the ball. He advanced to third on a fly ball and scored on Brett Pill’s double. Then, as Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News put it, “went to San Francisco to find an apartment.” Possibly.
- Another player doing his best to secure a San Francisco address is Brandon Belt. Belt went 3 for 5 with a run and RBI. He nearly missed a homer on his double off the wall in right. He’s hitting .375.
- C Hector Sanchez went 1 for 2 and is now hitting .450. But his issues behind the plate remained evident. He allowed a runner to go from second to third on a passed ball, then allowed that runner to score on a wild pitch.
- Barry Zito got threw four innings, throwing 62 pitches (38 for strikes). He gave up two runs on four hits, with two walks and four strikeouts. The two runs came when he walked Casper Wells on a 3-1 pitch, then gave up a home run to Mike Carp.
Eric Surkamp will be on the mound and Buster Posey behind the plate as the Giants face the Cubs at 1:05 p.m. Friday.