Signs of Things to Come – Brandon Crawford

Great game last night. Bumgarner was awesome going toe-to-toe with Kershaw. It was like watching a great suspense movie: You’re hanging on every pitch.

We had not forgotten that the Dodgers swept us at home last time they were there. So we built some momentum in San Diego and carried it into LA for last night’s big win against their ace. Tonight is bound to be another battle. I’m already itching to get to the park. The energy and confidence in the clubhouse is awesome.

It’s been said a thousand times and it’s true: There are 25 guys on a roster for a reason. No single player wins by himself. Even Matt Cain’s perfect game required guys to play great defense and score runs. When a hole opens in the lineup, you step up as a team and fill it. And that’s what has been happening on this road trip.

I thought I’d share one small inside baseball thing that might or might not be interesting to you. During a game last week, we had just made the third out and I was walking off the base paths to fetch my hat and glove from one of my teammates. Reliever George Kontos was walking onto the field to the pitching mound. You might have seen me stop him and talk for a minute.

What would a shortstop need to talk to a relief pitcher about?

I was asking him about the catcher’s signs. When there’s a runner on second base, the catcher can’t simply put down one finger for a fastball, two for a curve and so on. The runner can see the sign and relay it to the batter.

So when there’s a runner on second, the catcher puts down multiple signs. As fielders we need to know which is the real one. But different pitchers have different systems. For some pitchers, the real sign might be the third one. For some, the second.

Some pitchers make it a little more complicated. For example, the system might be “strikes plus one.’’ If there are no strikes, the real sign is the first one. If there is one strike, the real sign is the second one. If two strikes, the third.

Kontos told me his system, which of course I will not reveal here.

So whenever you see an infielder suddenly dash to the pitcher’s mound in the middle of the game, cover his mouth with his glove and talk to the pitcher, odds are he’s asking about signs.

Jalynne drove down from San Francisco to join me in San Diego and is now here in LA, where we have lots of friends from our days at UCLA. Some are Dodger fans, of course, but we try to overlook that.

See you at the park Thursday against Atlanta.

 

-Brandon C.

18 Comments

so cool to know about the signs! can you tell us about how the clubhouse feels with the addition of new players? #BEATLA!

I love watching your defense, and the hits are coming too.This is going to be a great 5-6 weeks!

I love your blog posts! Baseball is endlessly fascinating and I always enjoy learning bits I didn’t already know.

Thanks for the lesson!

I am from Minnesota so I have never really “liked” the Giants. However, I have started to like the Giants more and more as i have been reading your blog. Keep up the good work on and off the field. I enjoy reading about it.
If you have a moment then i’d appricitate if you would check out my blog. Thanks. Hope you have a great series in Atlanta.
-Paul

http://apieceofthegame.mlblogs.com/

Thank you for this blog. I share it with my boys, who hope to one day play for the Giants. We are a ways off from that, ages 12 (in two weeks) and 7, but it is nice to hear about the big leagues and games from two of their favorite players. Keep it up and Go Giants!

Awesome game tonight, Brandon!! (Actually, both Brandons are doing excellent!!). B. Crawford – I’ve said it before – it’s just so fun to watch you turn two like you did at the end of the game tonight to close it out for 2 games out of 3 for this series against the Dodgers!! Woot, woot!! That throw by Pagan to home plate, and how Posey, as the cut-off, let it go by – good call by Posey. Lincecum commanded tonight. You guys are 5 months into the season now and must be tired, but you all look great and are SO fun to watch! And, yes, that is interesting about what the infielder is talking to the pitcher about. You did it again tonight and I was wondering exactly that. Getting these little insider tid-bits from this blog is so fun. It’s very cool you guys are doing this. Remember us when you’re a Golden Glove player and don’t have time for the blog anymore! ;0))

PS: What’s the difference between a forward “K” and a backward “K” for strikes?

One is for swinging and the other caught looking.

Forward is a strikeout swinging, backward is a strikeout looking. :)

Awesome. Thanks for that.

I love you guys and this blog! Thanks for the explanation. I was wondering about that. Can’t wait to be at the park again :-)

Great game last night too Brandon. The run support y’all gave Timmy was awesome and he in turn threw an awesome game. Y’all will be facing my hometown team, the Braves, on Thursday and will crush them as your momentum continues. Y’all all look fabulous out there and are bonding together and picking each other up. The support and encouragement y’all give each other is very apparent and inspiring. Keep up the hardwork-I see post season and beyond for my favorites!

Thanks for sharing that little tidbit, it was something I always wondered about. Not so much why you guys talk, but what about. Great blog!

Yee good work Craw! Lovin the UCLA shoutouts- keep em coming! Go Giants!

I always wonder what you guys are saying on mound conferences, and it kills me not to know. Thanks for the inside info. Always love baseball trivia. :-)

Hey Brandon! Since you told us your reason behind having stronger and part of me as your song for games, is there any meaning behind snapbacks & tattoos?

what do you miss about UCLA? anyways you’ve been a trooper this season ;) I brag about my FAV C’s on the team all the time: Cabrera/Cain and of course YOU ;) Keep up the good work!

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