Sunny in Philadelphia (and various other locales) – Brandon Crawford
It was cool to see my name in the five-spot in the lineup when I arrived at the park today. It’s the first time in the majors that I’ve hit in a big RBI spot. I didn’t do anything in the game, unfortunately, and we took the loss. But it’s a confidence booster for sure. Bochy recognizes that I’m hitting the ball well.
After struggling so much early on, I fully appreciate being on a hot streak. On Wednesday in Atlanta, I was 0-for-4 going into the 11th inning. The pitcher threw a cutter and I fouled it off my knee. He came back with pretty much the same pitch and I was ready for it: a three-run homer to get the win.
Two days later against the Phillies, I got a fastball up and in. Most of the season, I’ve been fouling off that pitch, barely missing it. But I got my hands out quickly and got the barrel on the ball. Grand slam.
“What a power hitter,’’ Melky joked when I got back to the dugout.
Then last night I got a walk-off hit in the ninth. Those clutch situations are the reason you work so hard when you’re struggling. That’s what you live for in this game. You want to be the guy who comes through in the clutch.
Of course you pay the price for coming through in the clutch. Melky body slammed me. Theriot delivered some punches to my ribs and back while I was down. But it was worth it.
Overall, it’s been a pretty lively seven days for me.
On Monday night I had a career first.
I was tossed from the game.
I have never been tossed from a game. Ever. On any level.
It all started in the sixth inning. I hit a stand-up double but the umpire decided I didn’t touch first base and called me out.
I couldn’t believe it.
I’m about the quietest player around, but I couldn’t contain myself.
“Do you really think I’m going to cut the corner on an easy, stand-up double?’’ I asked the umpire. “Why would I not touch first base?’’
“I don’t know why you didn’t touch it, but you didn’t,’’ he said.
I’m also thinking, “Does he really think I’d argue the call if I had not touched the bag, knowing they’d show the play in super slow-motion on TV?”
Of course, the replay showed I touched the bag.
It was so frustrating because that’s a double I’ll never get back.
I couldn’t shake off my frustration. I can handle an 0-for-4 — even four strikeouts — and still be able to concentrate on the game. I can make errors and still focus on the next play. But I had a really, really hard time focusing after that call.
Two innings later, in my last at-bat, I grounded out. When I got close to first base, I slowed down and stomped on the bag a little bit to make sure the umpire saw it.
“Did I get it that time?’’ I asked him.
“Get out of here!’’ he said.
I didn’t know if he meant “get out of my sight’’ or “you’re out of the game.’’ I decided to go with “out of my sight.’’
It was the end of the inning, so I was taking my elbow and shin guards off to give to first-base coach Roberto Kelly, preparing to go on the field for the top of the ninth.
“No, he tossed you,’’ Roberto said.
I was a little surprised. I’ve said worse things to umpires and never got tossed. I’m glad it was so late in the game. I missed only half an inning.
Getting back to the road trip: Jalynne went with me for the entire thing. In Atlanta we were joined by Jalynne’s parents, her older sister and husband and their two daughters, and another sister and her husband. We went to the aquarium together one day. Another day Jalynne and I went by ourselves to the Coca-Cola Museum, which turned out to be pretty cool.
Otherwise, we were in our room watching whole season of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’’ on DVD. Exciting, I know.
I’ll answer your questions next time – what the base coaches say to us and whether I set goals for the season.
(Thanks to Penny Davis for her suggestion that I never take fashion advice from Ryan Theriot. “It can only end in tragedy.’’ I’m going to have to make sure he reads that.)
Day off tomorrow, which means one thing: more episodes of “Always Sunny in Philadelphia.’’