“McDeep Dive” is our new series that spotlights one Giants player every day for a week. We’ll move backwards and forwards through time, look at on the field stuff, off the field stuff, and see if we can learn something new about them. Here’s part six of our look at Brandon Crawford.
Almost two years ago, Brandon Crawford made history by smacking 7 hits in a single game. It might be the most memorable event of the 2016 season (you are free to pitch alternatives in the comments) and it came at a time when the Giants were the worst collection of athletes on the entire planet, of any sport and at any level. There were CYA basketball teams made of 5 year olds that could dunk on the lowly 2nd half Giants.
The most memorable part of this most memorable event — at least to me — is how few of these balls were barreled. The great Jose Fernandez started the game and pitched six innings. His first three hits were an infield hit, a double dragged past Derek Dietrich on the first base line, and a chopper that chopped past Dietrich through the infield. But don’t take my word for it.
MLB’s video recap gets you up to speed quickly:
Grant’s recap did a Grant-level job of setting the stage and properly contextualizing both the state of Brandon Crawford as a Giant during their 2nd half death spiral and his 7-hit accomplishment:
The Giants have had seven hits or fewer in 46 games this year. They’ve actually won 14 of those games. Crawford had seven, by himself, in one game.
Doug wrote about why Brandon Crawford’s 7-hit game was better than all the other 7-hit games in MLB history. It is, of course, fantastic, containing gems like this:
Robinson went 7 for 7 against an inept Browns staff led by Best Name In Baseball History Runner-Up Pretzels Getzien. Robinson’s 7 hits included 6 singles and one double, and he drove in 11 in a 25-4 Orioles win.
Why Brandon Crawford’s game was better: See that final score? 25-4? The Orioles would have stomped all over the Browns with or without Robinson in the lineup. His hits were low-pressure and meaningless. Add in that they were facing a washed up pitcher, and clearly, Crawford’s game was better.
The Giants scored 1 run the rest of that series (and won 1 out of 2) and went 23-27 on their way to getting knocked out of the playoffs by the Cubs, so this moment didn’t turn around the season. It also didn’t sway Crawford’s 2016 in any direction — he was already having a good season (108 OPS+). It wasn’t the first time this had ever happened, it was the sixth.
But, it was history and it was history made by Brandon Crawford. The Bay Area’s own. The Homegrown Hero. On that basic level, it’s not only a cool moment, it’s a wow moment. The kid who grows up idolizing his local team grows up to be on that team, wins a World Series with that team, and makes personal history with that team.
Brandon Crawford’s journey is the perfect story for every baseball fan.