I was this kid all afternoon: heavily reclined in my chair, a bag of tortilla chips on my lap with one eye on the game and the other perusing Martin Sheen’s Wikipedia page.
It’s not the most exciting place to be—it’s not bite-through-your-cuticles-and-pull-your-hair-out-while-walking-on-coals excited/anxious baseball every night like it was back in ‘21— but there’s a certain level of peace bordering on indifference that’s welcomed when both teams in a game are out of contention in September.
Baseball is on and in the background and sometimes that’s where it thrives. Jon Miller’s voice echoing out from the garage; the noise of the crowd mixing with the static of the pan as you cook dinner, television on in the other room; zoning out to Dave Flemming on your commute home.
Tune in, tune out, it’s all groovy.
But, just like Michael Corleone in Godfather 3, baseball always finds a way to pull you back in. Brandon Crawford did that today in the 8th inning.
It was the kind of defensive play that’d make the viewer drop their sack of multi-colored hard sweets or pull away from a riveting cursory paragraph describing Sheen’s political activism or send someone into the throes of a heart attack while shouting out the name of the dead brother they had killed decades previous—but in a good way.
A horizontal dive to Crawford’s right, webbing the ball at the last moment, before falling back to the dirt, transitioning the ball to his right hand, throwing it to second to nab the lead runner—it’s silly to try and describe. A flimsy summary. Language doesn’t do the job.
It was the kind of play in which everyone, including the other players on the field, assumed the role of spectator. We were all Jason Vosler on this one: standing upright, feet shoulder-width apart, frozen jaw mid-chew, to watch.
Crawford’s play possibly saved the game for the Giants as well, taking away a single, which would’ve put runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs. Knowing how this season has been going, a 3-run moonshot from Randall Grichuk was inevitable and incoming. Instead, Crawford makes the impossible possible, bails out Scott Alexander and sets up an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
Playing small ball at Coors Field pic.twitter.com/rsqhc1jo74— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) September 22, 2022
All around, it was probably one of the better games of the year. Mike Yastrzemski went 2 for 4 with his 14th home run and a nice catch in center field. The defense turned 4 unique double-plays: 4-6-3; 8-6; 5-4-3; 6-4-3. Recent call-up Jharel Cotton debuted in the orange-and-black and entertained us with a funky fresh change-up. The bullpen threw 9 shutout innings to finish up a series in which they did most of the heavy lifting on the mound, throwing 27 out of 37 innings while allowing only 4 earned runs.
Yaz sends it a Mile High pic.twitter.com/bHkPViv3zT— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) September 22, 2022
The Giants won 3-0, completing their first 4-game sweep of the season, the first one at Coors since 2019 and their first shutout in Denver since 2012—but who cares? It’s all fluff and none of it matters because its September 22nd and San Francisco is toast and the only thing you or I or that Cool Colorado Kid eating Skittles will remember from this game is Crawford laying out at short, the seamless transition from glove to hand, the whip throw from his knees.