Turning Points – Brandon Crawford
Sometimes there’s a stretch of time in a season when you know something has changed. Momentum shifts. The Dodger series is an obvious example. Sweeping the Dodgers at their own park was like planting our flag at the top of the division: We don’t own it yet, but we’re going to be really tough to knock off.
Sometimes it’s not a stretch of time but one play that tells you something has changed.
When Hunter Pence laid down that push bunt Thursday night, I think everyone in the park – including all of us in the dugout – went “What?’’ There were two runners on base, and here was our clean-up batter, our power guy, and he’s bunting. He completely took the Braves by surprise. He drove in the runner from third and managed to get himself safely to first with a legitimate single.
That not only was the turning point in the game, but it sent the message that we’re a team that will do whatever it takes to win.
Hunter explained later that Dan Uggla, the Braves’ second baseman, always plays him behind second base. And Hunter kept hitting line drives or ground balls right at him. So last year, Hunter decided to counteract Uggla’s strategy with a strategy of his own. He executed it perfectly.
We’re all playing together as a team more now than we had been earlier. Subconsciously, I think we would wait around for Melky and Buster to make something happen. But now it seems like anybody can come through at any time. Pagan is on fire. Joaquin is having an unbelievable month. I’ve been feeling good at the plate. Having Pablo back is huge. Marco, if he’s not getting on base himself, he’s getting somebody into scoring position.
Our timing couldn’t be better. This is the time of year when you have to make your push. We’re watching the Dodger scores, and we know they’re watching ours.
You have to feel pretty good as a Giants fan to see the big trade the Dodgers made yesterday. It means they’re at least a little worried.
There’s a lot of baseball left to play. But the way we’re going now, I like our chances that the flag at the top of the division isn’t going anywhere.