The 2012 Giants: We Do Drama – Brandon Crawford

It’s not exactly the Torture of 2010, but this 2012 version can take you on a pretty good roller coaster ride.

​If you watched today’s game, you know what I mean. We scored four in the first then kind of went on cruise control and blew the lead. But lately we have this knack of getting a hit or a walk or a hit-by-pitch in the eighth or ninth inning – and suddenly it’s like a switch has been flipped.

Today we were down 8-5 with two outs in the eighth, and Hector Sanchez hit a double. And everything changed.

I followed up with a double, scoring Hector and closing the gap to 8-6. Belt came in to pinch hit. He hit a single to drive me in: 8-7.

In the ninth, Scutaro doubled. Then Buster doubled him in: 8-8.

People say hitting is contagious. I know it makes no sense at all, but I believe it because that’s our team. (Of course, it can be contagious in the other direction, too. Nobody hits, so nobody hits.)

In the tenth I led off with an infield chopper that I barely beat out. And with two outs, I scored the winning run on Scutaro’s walk-off hit down the left field line. I loved watching Scutaro racing around the field, trying to get away from Pablo, me and the rest of the mob chasing him. I don’t blame him for running – when I hit that walk-off against the Padres, I got crushed. Scutaro was yelling at Pablo in Spanish as Pablo grabbed him, and we all piled on. I guess we should be thinking about the possibility of injury, but everyone’s so happy after a walk-off we never even think about it.

What’s different about this team right now is that key hits and runs are coming from every spot in the order. I take my job in the No. 8 hole as seriously as Buster takes his job hitting clean-up.

​Hitting eighth is hard. You can ask anybody. Hitting eighth in the National League is one of the toughest spots to hit. If there’s nobody out and nobody on, a pitcher is going to pitch you the same as everybody else. But if there are guys in scoring position, you have to expand the strike zone a little bit because the pitcher’s on deck. It’s up to you to drive those runners in. So you want to put the ball in play, even if you don’t get the perfect pitch. But you don’t want to expand the strike zone too much and find yourself flailing at bad pitches. It’s a fine line.

​On another topic, you might have noticed I am no longer the Wolverine. I know the TV cameras caught me in the dugout in Houston running my fingers up through my beard and trying to poof it out and see how big it was. Some of the guys were telling me I should keep growing it. But when I went 0-for Houston, I thought it was time for a trim. So the clipper came out. And tonight I got three hits, so I think I’ll keep it trimmed, even though I hate to shave.

​It’s been fun to watch the replays of my catch of Pablo’s flip in foul territory in our first game in Houston. It’s been Number 1 on Best Plays of the Week on ESPN, even beating out Felix Hernandez’s perfect game. Fans said a perfect game had been done before, but they’d never seen a play like that. I’ve watched it a bunch of times myself, and I enjoy it as much as any fan. I still can’t tell you how it happened. I saw Pablo falling backward, so I thought the ball might come out of his glove. And then he came forward – and the ball flipped into the air. It was just one of those things that you just react to it.

​Here’s another thing from that Houston series I had never seen before: An outfielder nearly trampling an infielder to catch a cut-off throw. Pagan threw from deep center field, and I had just caught the ball when Blanco – who was trying to catch the cut-off throw — crashed into me and we both went tumbling.

The closest thing I’ve seen to that is Manny Ramirez back in the day when he was in Boston. Johnny Damon throws the ball in from center, and Manny Ramirez for some reason dives and cuts the ball off – even though it was heading right to the shortstop. Manny then turns around and throws it to the shortstop. For no reason. Manny being Manny.

​I asked Gregor in the dugout what he was thinking: Why would you try to catch a cut-off throw? He said the throw was so off-line that he didn’t think I’d be able to reach it. I told him, “With me, you’ll never have to cut a ball off.’’ I know our outfielders’ arms – who has strong and not-so-strong arms — and know where to situate myself for the cutoff.

​Baseball fans often say they come to the park every day because they’re going to see something they’ve never seen before. That is absolutely true for players, too. It’s what makes baseball so fun. You never know what a teammate – or you — might do. It could be something that will never be seen ever again. Sometimes, of course, that’s a good thing.

-Brandon C.

22 Comments

As usual, adore your posts and will keep reading during September to Remember. Really having fun watching you and Belt grow this year. You guys have really put everything into it and it shows on the field. Please keep blogging. We love hearing from you. Also, thanks for signing my ball during the last Braves series – I was the only one in the corridor and could tell you were busy but you stopped and signed anyway. That’s one of the reasons you’re a fan favorite. Go Giants!

It looks like a blast playing baseball for a living. Is it as fun as it looks? :0)
You guys are looking great. ‘Looking forward to an adventurous September (you guys never make it easy on us fans!). ;0)) Keep up the great teamwork!

Do I hear post season? Thanks, BC, for all that you do for the team! See you at the yard on Wednesday!!

I was at the game today and the energy was awesome. Congratulations on such an incredible game.

Love the post Brandon! Fantastic game today! I was trying to remember the last time we’ve gone into extra innings, and the last time we had a walk-off. It’s been a while, and it was fun to have a little drama and torture again. But don’t give us too much of it, or we might all have heart attacks! :) I asked Brandon Belt this in an earlier post, and I was wondering what your answer would be too: what is the significance of your number, 35? Is there any significance? If you could have any number, what would it be? Thank you again for writing! See you at the park on Saturday! :)

Really enjoyed watching today’s game, and was happy to find the blog today to get a player’s take on it. I’m loving these catch up games more than anything, where I feel like I’m just about to give up, but you guys always get it done. Rewatching the end again now. Hope this series gets swept! Go Crawford! Go Giants!

I love the blog!!! It will be a SEPTEMBER TO REMEMBER!!!

You’re awesome Brandon! I love hearing your thoughts on the games and on your plays. It seems like you really have a great time which makes it so fun to watch you. I flew into Chicago from New York for the series and boy was that fun! The Giants are such a great team that just seem to emanate the definition of teamwork and I think that rubs off on the fans and makes it such a wonderful experience. Cubs fans kept yelling at us to stop cheering, that it wasn’t our home stadium…but you gotta cheer for your team wherever you go! Though, I’m pretty sure they’re just jealous, and I guess it’s hard to blame them. Thanks for posting!

A game like today’s was what I love about this game and this team. Incredible come from behind game win defines what a true team you guys are with many heros. So inspirational.

Brandon thanks for the post and the insights into what goes on the field between the players. Marco yelling in Spanish to Pablo as he ran after the walk -off just made me laugh!! 3 for 5 today against left handed pitching was wonderful to see. You have played so well this season such a fantastic SS with thouse fantastically soft hands out at SS and with that bat. Proud to have you as the Giants SS, both you and Joaquin. And your hitting is taking shape just like I knew it would. Just keep playing your game and we will see another Orange October!!

Today’s game was so amazing, and we all loved seeing that win become a complete team effort. Games like that can only bring teams closer, am I right? :) Sad to see The Wolverine go, lol. Was secretly hoping for more shots of you in the dugout poofing it out, but I understand the superstition of giving it a trim, haha. So excited to see this momentum build on the field, and into the postseason! Can’t wait for you to give the Dodgers a run for their money (literally, lol) this weekend! Keep it up! :)

Brandon, THANK YOU for making Labor Day a memorable one for my 8yr old son and myself. We watched the game on our MLB.TV app, because we’re MONSTER Giants fans in Louisville, KY! We’ve gone on the road twice this year to see our fav MLB team play, and my kids are the biggest Giants fans in the Midwest! Keep up the hard play, and take the NL West!!

Awesome game yesterday…Huge fan from NYC, and like JCarli said, I watch you guys on MLB.TV too and it was the highlight of the day..I was at the U.S. Open and wanted to get home to watch the Giants vs. Dbacks game…It was totally thrilling…Keep the beard off, it will help you get endorsements and you play better without it…Thanks for the inside perspective, you are a very cool guy and a great shortstop,,

Awesome game, and a very cool post. I love hearing about what goes on on the field between you guys. You did good, really good.

Yesterday’s game was awesome. I’ll admit, the crowd kind of deflated in the heat when you guys went on cruise control but wow, that all changed with Hector’s double. Going to two of the games this weekend against the Dodgers. Cannot wait!

BC – thanks for the great post. That game was awesome yesterday. My neighbors (I live in Portland) probably wondered why the heck there was so much whoopin’ and hollerin’!!! Congrats on the clutch hit, and the great win!

We were at this game on Monday celebrating my daughter’s 13th birthday and the exciting win was the best gift to her. Such a great game and she had so much fun (Happy Birthday, Ashlyn!), thanks for yet another entertaining game. It was such a hot, sunny day but she didn’t leave her seat once, she cheered you guys on the entire time! We love our Giants and I love having something our whole family enjoys together. Thanks for the update. <3 #35 <3

BC this year has been a great year for you and the team. Full of twists and tumbles. Also, let not forget those awesome hits and throws. Glad to call myself a Crawford fan!! :) Go Giants!!!!

Great BLOG yo’.

island gurl!

You have extraordinary skill. Thank you for working hard and competing each day. It’s a thrill for me to see you play.

It’s nice to see you play with such confidence right now and also putting on an impressive show at defense. The game seems more exciting when you are in the lineup (dislike Bochy’s platoon at SS). That being said, you have come a long way from May of last year. I’m sure it was difficult to go through the ups and downs of being thrown into the big leagues to either sink or swim. What was going through your mind when you were struggling early last season? Did you feel ready? Overwhelmed? Either way, you seem to have figured it out. I’m happy to see that you are now known as a quality MLB shortstop with a long and promising future ahead of you, and I definitely look forward to watching you for many years to come.

On another note, there was an article recently where Bochy mentioned that other managers were talking about your stellar defense. Do you ever read newspaper articles written about you, or do your family and friends tell you about it? I’m also curious if you ever read some of the blogs? I’m sure loved ones are telling you to stay away from those kind of things, but do you peek every now and then? :)

Congratulations about beating the Reds! I was lucky enough to have my mom pick me up from school early just to watch game 5. It was awesome! Good luck against the Cardinals!

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