Fifty-four More Outs – Brandon Crawford

You never know how important a play might be until the game plays itself out. You can’t know in the second inning, for example, that nailing Prince Fielder at the plate would be so huge. The way we were hitting and scoring in Game 1, one run for the Tigers would have been pretty meaningless. But as it turned out, we couldn’t afford to give an inch tonight.

​I’m sure you saw the play. With Fielder on first, Delmon Young doubled down the left field line. I ran out to take the cutoff. Seeing Fielder round third base, Gregor fired the ball in. It sailed over my head. All I was thinking was, “I hope Marco’s there.’’

​He was. He took the throw, spun and fired it home to Buster, who put down the tag and got Fielder.

​After the game, reporters asked me if that’s how the play is drawn up. It is. We practice it in spring training. I go deep for the cutoff, and the second baseman follows behind me in case the throw is high or comes in on a short hop, and the third baseman covers third in case the runner tries to return to the base.

I still don’t know if Gregor overthrew the ball or if he meant to go to Marco. I’m sure I’ll find out in tomorrow’s paper. It doesn’t matter. It worked.

​That’s how things have been going for us. Things seem to be breaking our way.

​But it’s not luck. OK, maybe a little luck. But mostly I think you make your own luck. For example, usually if we haven’t scored a run through six innings, we’d be pressing. We could press ourselves right out of the game. But I didn’t see any of that. We were relaxed, confident that, with the way Bum was pitching, he’d keep them off the scoreboard. He had more life on the ball than his last outing and he was hitting all his spots. We wouldn’t need a lot of runs to win.

​When I went up to bat with the bases loaded in the seventh and no outs, neither team had scored yet. I wanted to keep my approach as simple as possible, the way I would with two strikes. Don’t try to do too much. The infielders were playing normal depth, so it seemed they were conceding the run at home if I put the ball in play. That surprised me considering the strength of our bullpen.

When I grounded the ball to second base, I thought, “Oh no, double play.’’ Then: “OK, that will do.’’

Hunter scored from third, putting us up 1-0.

​In retrospect, to be perfectly honest, I wish I had been more aggressive up there. Smyly, their pitcher, had nowhere to put me. He was going to have to throw strikes. But I didn’t know him. I might have faced him in Double A a couple years ago. I didn’t know what he was going to throw.

​In any event, it’s probably the most productive out(s) I’ve ever made. The run put us ahead for good.

​A lot of reporters have been asking about our defense. I’m really glad it’s getting some recognition. I think it’s been a key to our success. Our defense has been good the whole second half of the season. Our pitchers get some credit for that. They’ve been awesome. We know where to position ourselves defensively because we know our pitchers are going to hit their spots.

​We need two more wins. Fifty-four outs.

But as you know we’re not accustomed to being ahead in a series. This is a new experience.

​I like it.

​My whole family is traveling to Detroit. Mom, Dad, my three sisters and Jalynne’s parents. The players, wives and staff have to be at the park tomorrow morning at 8:30 to board the buses to the airport. I know it will be a happy flight (made happier by the five different kinds of little cakes Barry Zito’s wife Amber has been making and sharing with everyone).

​Maybe the next time we’re back in San Francisco, it will be for a parade. Is it bad luck to say that? But that’s how it feels. We feel we’re on a major roll, like nothing can stop us.

​Of course, Cincinnati probably felt the same way.

​OK, I take back the parade comment.

​One game at a time. One out at a time. One pitch at a time.

​It’s worked for us so far.

 

-Brandon C.

31 Comments

Dont take it back, there is no need.. Giants are going all the way!!!

Have a great trip to Detroit. Go get those Tigers. Best wishes to all of you.

Brandon,
I look forward to each of your blogs!!! You have done great this season writing them!

No, dude, no retrospection. You knocked in one of the only two runs that won the game. You went in with the right mentality and it went the right way. If you had been more aggressive, who knows – you may have just popped up to a position too close for any run to come in.

Yeah, I wouldn’t start saying anything about how the rest of the games will go, although that’s got to be extremely difficult at this point. I will agree with you about the team. You guys seem like magic right now. Just enjoy it, like (from what we understand) Bochy has been saying. You guys not only look like you continue to have fun, you still look like you’re out there playing little league games like kids that wanna do whatever it takes to win the game, and having SO much fun playing together. Your collective “just today’s game” philosophy seems to have a harmony to it. Maybe that’s where the magic comes from. You guys are actually validating the book, “The Secret” and the movie, “What The Bleep Do We Know Anyway?” You guys can affect your outcome if you believe you can. And you have all been doing that really, really well. Keep up the good mojo!! Have a safe flight and my 2 dogs, my potbellied pig named “Bochy” and I will all be watching you from my living room on the big screen. My daughter just headed up to the University of Oregon last month, so I’m with the critters, but she and I text, and Dad (San Diego) and I make calls off and on during all the games. When you did one of your wonderful double plays tonight (always a thing of beauty), I called him, “See, that’s the Short Stop I was telling you about. He’s good, isn’t he? Very fluid, very consistent.” He agreed completely. Played a lot of ball in his day – was about to go pro with the Milwaukee Braves – yeah, a long time ago – but threw his arm out as a catcher – a Tommy John injury but that would have been around 1955.

GO GIANTS!! GO BRANDONS!! And all of you and your fearless leader – what a great team and so much fun to watch. We love ya!! See you on Saturday!

~dj

Thanks for continuing to write, Brandon, it’s AWESOME to get some kind of insider’s point of view. I don’t know about ‘jinxing’ anything, but I believe you guys can do this, but that’s from watching you guys play together as a team. I’ve never played professional baseball, but from watching you all, just on TV, my girlfriend and I are always saying to each other…there such a beautiful lack of ‘ego’ with the Giants…I think it shows. One day at time, have a great flight and here’s to winning Game 3. GO GIANTS!! PELEA!

Wow. Scutero didn’t yell “I got it”? You just let it sail over your head and hope. Thems guts. The GMen got the mojo. Keep it going.

I cannot describe the happiness I feel tonight. As a fan who has followed this team through the ups and downs of the season, I feel like you are all my brothers. Getting to know this 2012 team has been an amazing experience as a fan. There isn’t one person on this team who doesn’t deserve to be where they are right now, and I couldn’t be happier for you guys. In your previous post you made a comment that was dead on:

“It’s incredible what a sports team can mean to people… Nothing else makes you feel the way a sports team makes you feel.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. It’s incredible how much joy this team brings me, and I want to thank you for doing what you do.

Have a fantastic flight with your family tomorrow. And i don’t just mean Jalynne and the soon-to-be little one. I mean the family that this Giants team has become over the course of the season. Its been a wild ride and it’s not over yet. Just remember:

One game at a time. One out at a time. One pitch at a time.

P.S. Make sure Romo doesn’t get his hands on too many of those cakes. I cant imagine what he’s like all hyped up on sugar.

Oh and by the way thanks for doing this for me at Petco Park this year. It really means a lot:

http://i.imgur.com/Onsk9.jpg

I’m not a superstitious person. But, for some reason it is so tempting when it comes to baseball. My BFF & I have decided to wear our Stand Up 2 Cancer bracelets we got at Game 1 until the series is over “just in case.” Maybe the superstition is born out of the fact that we are all so proud of you guys we want to think everything we do supports the team too. Keep it up. Make sure to tell all the guys that no matter what happens in Detroit the fans are proud of you.

I love getting your inside point of view of everything that goes on, on the field. And, its funny because you seem like a man of few words, haha. I wonder what you say to yourself when you look up in the dugout and see Brian Wilson dancing in front of you, or Panda doing these elaborate high fives, or sunflower seeds flying everywhere. The chemistry throughout the roster is undeniable, and love that now on this huge stage, the rest of baseball is falling in love with the team that Giants fans have been following all year.

Just wanted to say how proud we fans are of you, BB the rest of the team. I feel in my heart you’re going to go all the way but I’ll knock on wood just the same – no jinxing;) You guys are fighters (as well as talented players) and nothing will stand in the way of you achieving your dream!! Good luck in Detroit. SF will be rooting for you every step of the way!!!

I commented on Facebook last night that the best part of the WS was that we can showcase some of our “lesser known” talents. You’re definitely on that list. And for what it’s worth, the team’s amazing post season has converted a few fans who previously didn’t like baseball! :D

I enjoyed your blog and i enjoy watching mature into a great ball player – keep it up i will be cheering for buddy!

You guys are giving so much. This feels like a special time!

Great post. You made me chuckle when you talked about that throw from Blanco to Scutaro. We argued about it for the rest of the game! You guys are amazing. Right now you’re ahead 2-0 with the team that just beat the Yankees 4-0. Who knew? And you’re right, who cares? We’re the Giants and we’ll take it as it comes! Congratulations and Best wishes to all of you. You’re amazing!

Great game yesterday: way to be scrappy! Have fun in the Motor City, travel safe, stay loose, and if you stop to listen during the games, you will SF fans cheering back at home!

Love this blog…..Y’all are playing so awesome. Great game-thanks for the win on my birthday-corny or not-I am claiming it as y’all’s birthday present to me!! Way to fight and hang together. I loved the picture of you in the stands from years ago as little Brandon watching his SF Giants (adorable)-and look at where you are now!! So proud of y’all. Good luck in Detroit-I’ll be watching, cheering, screaming, hollering–so proud to be an east coast Giants fan……GO BRANDON, GO GMEN!!!

Love hearing your point of view of the game and what is going thru your head. It is such a treat for us fans! Glad you brought up our defense, it is outstanding. I just keep saying to my husband, great defense wins games and ours is GREAT. I was at the game when you made your leaping catch and I thought there was no way you could get it, mind blowing. Your great defense allows our pitchers to pitch with confidence. Keep it up, one play at a time! We will be waving the orange towel in front of the TV. Go Giants!!!!

I didn’t know about this blog until the post season, but it’s become my favorite thing to read on the internet. I hope you both keep it going. It’d be really interesting to read a bit on what the life of a pro-ball player is like during the long winter months.

You have quite the following at http://www.reddit.com/r/SFGiants. Is there any chance that either of you would consider stopping by after the series and answering a few questions? We would all love it very, very much.

My friend Kyle has been a dedicated follower of not only this blog but of the Giants! I have never met a more dedicated or loyal fan than Kyle. He is the kindest most hardworking person I have ever met. And with the help of his UC Davis CoHo coworkers and their spontaneous donations, this goober got an extra special surprise after Game 1… a ticket to see his favorite team play in the World Series, ticket and transportation costs covered completely. Watch this video and see one of the heart warming moments of this young man’s life!

I want to make cakes for you guys…. That sounds like the greatest thing in the whole world.
Great game last night Brandon!!!!!

p.s. Our dogs met the other day while you guys were in St. Louis and your petsetter (old landlord, my mom said she said… i dunno!) was walking about my neighborhood. Greatest moment of my life, and I wasn’t even there. :)

Crawford your a bada$$, I hope you have a huge shelf above the fireplace, cause those Golden Gloves are going to be flying in year after year.

I haven’t posted on hear before, but I’ve been a Giants fan for most of my 31 years of existence. There have been periods I haven’t wanted to be due to the way players came across.

Not so with this group, the two of you especially. You guys play the game the right way and seem to know how special this all is. Thank you so very much for all your effort and know that you’ve got millions of us that are so very proud of you

All I can say is that you fellows are playing ball the way it was meant to be played. You have no idea how good it is to watch a real baseball team, as opposed to a knock off of WWE with a bat. It’s just beautiful to watch.

Great Job on the win!!!!!!!!

great catch you did during the series. I hope I become a gret shortstop. By the way my mom works with your mom. So I hope one day I can meet you.

YOU’RE RIGHT BRANDON:) You guys are coming back to a PARADE & on HALLOWEEN TOO :) Thank you for your contribution to the Team :) great stories about you being a giants fan and now a giants player :) Defense don’t get lots of recognition; well guess what YA’LLLLL FREAKIN’ ROCK @ defense :) and your acrobatic moves @ short stop makes us explode off our seats after you make the outs. Beyond amazing and keep up the great work! Hope we get to see another great blog about your moments during that last Game 4! and what you plan to do now that Baseball Season is over. Our love to you, Jalynne & baby craw!

In Samoa after playing a tough game we always say;

“Malo lava le ta’alo faatausala” (way to play with grace)
-Island Gurl

Brandon,from one Pleasanton guy to another your the best shortstop in baseball,bar-none.I.’m a little older than your folks,we’ve lived in P-town since 1970.I remember seeing your name in the paper when you were in Foothill.You keep up the good work and the golden gloves will fill your room.
So proud of you!!!!!Your family must be bursting from the seams with PRIDE…
Ron

Congrats ! Great Series Brandon and Giants! You guys were unstoppable. The PARADES TOMORROW. I can not imagine how you must be feeling tonight! Relax and enjoy every minute of it. It will be one of those monents in your life you will remember forever. Like you wedding and the birth of your children.. Oh yes that is happening soon too! I hope to see you continue on your blogg during the off season, it has been inspirational to hear your thoughts. Thank you for an Awsome year of Baseball.. We are already looking forward to spring training.
God Bless

You guys should post about the World Series win and the parade! We’d love to hear about your guys experience!!

We need some updates about the parade and what you’ve been doing since the season ended….don’t get too relaxed…

Hey Brandon, I have a question. So I am a Pleasanton teen like you once were, and during the season, I work at the softball snack shack at the sports park. Some customers were talking one day when you were at your sister’s game, and the story was that you were asked to leave the park because it was creating too much of a distraction. First off, is this true? If it is true, how do you deal with fans when you are trying to spend time with your family? Can it be too much? It would be cool to hear a response- have a good one.

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