By Ben Leonard
SAN FRANCISCO—With the Giants in the wrong part of the tabloids and the standings, someone needed to be a stopper.
Brandon Crawford did just that.
Despite booting an early grounder in the second inning—that ended up going for a hit—Crawford’s slick defensive play steadied the reeling Giants, which had lost 12 of their last 13 games before a 9-2 win Monday night. After the shortstop made a clean diving stop and a quick throw to third to end the second inning, the Giants responded with four runs in the next two frames.
“Hopefully, this did a lot for their confidence and will take a little pressure off,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said after the Giants’ first win in nearly a week. “We need to quit fighting it so much. There’s a lot of talent, and there’s no reason we can’t put consistent runs on the board.”
When Desmond slapped the third inning grounder in the hole with two runners on, the Rockies were threatening with two men on base and down just 1-0. Crawford quickly broke to his right and nabbed it in open space before popping up to connect with third baseman Ryder Jones, in just his third big league game, for the putout.
Crawford said that it was a pretty “heads-up” play by the rookie, even though they had just discussed the possibility of Jones covering the bag for a force play just a day earlier.
“I don’t think I’ve ever made that play going to third base,” Crawford said. “But we talked about it, and he was there.”
One win certainly won’t do much to help the club climb back from a 23.5 game hole in the NL West, but it’s certainly a start. Despite having nearly the same lineup that went to the NLDS last season, San Francisco has the worst offensive numbers in franchise history in term since 1902—one year after the assembly line was invented—San Francisco will need more than just one 14-hit, 9-run effort to get back on track.
“I don’t think we’ve forgotten about it (how to hit well),” Crawford said. “It’s just been awhile since we’ve all come together at the same time and contributed together.”
Cover image: June 26, 2017: San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford (35) fielding a ground ball hit by the Rockies’ Trevor Story, during a MLB baseball game between the Colorado Rockies and the San Francisco Giants on LGBT Night at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California. Valerie Shoaps/CSM (Cal Sports Media via AP Images)