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.