SF Giants Prospects

Post game notes: San Francisco Giants love no-hitters, Brandon Crawford puts on a show

By Timmy Kennedy
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I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t a huge fan of the Jake Peavy trade, at first. Now, however, I love it. Obviously. David Price and Jeff Samardzija who? Peavy has been utterly dominant for the San Francisco Giants, and has become a key player. Last night, as the Giants topped the Milwaukee Brewers by three runs to one, Peavy continued his strong form, no-hitting the Brewers into the eighth inning.

Peavy’s slider was beautiful. He worked ahead often, and finished batters off with that amazing slider. It was unhittable, literally. It took the Brewers until the eighth inning, with one out to finally get a hit. In what was a completely and utterly pre-eminent display, the Giants won their fifth straight game, and all of a sudden the postseason is an extremely realistic prospect. Which is very exciting, indeed.

Besides from Jake’s brilliance, there were several other very encouraging things in the victory. First and foremostly; Brandon Crawford. The slumping shortstop is having a struggle like never before. He was redefined slumping. In the series opener, Crawford grounded into a double play with the bases loaded. Twice. His bat has been non-existent and his glove has been shaky. Last night? Crawford was on form.

Hypothetically speaking: If Peavy did indeed complete his no-hitter, Crawford would’ve been the main reason why. Crawford made two utterly sublime plays to keep the no-hit bid alive into the eighth inning for the Giants. The first was a throw from your backyard. The second is a candidate for play of the year. Seriously.

With a runner on first in the seventh frame with one out, Crawford decided he was going to end the inning with one breathtaking, for lack of a better superlative, play. He made an incredible dive to somehow prevent the ball going into the outfield, then, with a touch of magic flipped the ball to Joe Panik from the glove, who went onto complete the double play. It was superhuman. It was amazing.

B-Craw had a nice night at the dish, too. He no longer looked like a frustrated and under-confident hitter. His first hit was an RBI knock to right field with the runner on third. For a while now the Giants have seriously struggled with runners on third and less than two outs, Crawford showed everyone the approach required to bring home the runner.

Knowing that he didn’t have to do too much to score the runner, he let the changeup travel deep into the zone, shortened his swing, and served the ball into right. It was a new Brandon Crawford. He then stole second base, with a very clever, tag-evading slide. Later in the game he added an infield single, too. I like this Crawford. He reminds me of the really good Crawford we had in the early months of the season.

Over the last few days, Bruce Bochy has indicated that Santiago Casilla is no longer the permanent closer. Rather, a closer by committee will be used. Bochy further emphasised his new found trust in Sergio Romo last night, when he placed the much improved right hander into the high leverage situation, as oppose to Casilla.

While you may be thinking: Bochy used Casilla for the ninth to get the save, or something of the sort, but — remember, coming into the game with two runners on, in a close game, is a much harder, and much higher leverage situation than coming into the ninth with a clean slate. In keeping with the form of the last week, Romo came in and struck out the batter to end the inning. Casilla limped through the ninth, barely recording the save and yielding a couple of hits, hitting a batter and allowing a run.

Madison Bumgarner will take the mound tonight in the series finale. Bumgarner and the Giants will be looking to win their sixth straight game. Watch out Los Angeles. We are getting hot, and just at the right time, too.

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