Fri, 30 Jul 2021

Brandon Crawford looks to power Giants over Diamondbacks

Field Level Media
15 Jun 2021, 22:40 GMT+10

Brandon Crawford will continue his push to make his third National League All-Star team when the San Francisco Giants host the Arizona Diamondbacks to continue their four-game series on Tuesday night.

Crawford hit his 15th home run and drove in three runs to increase his RBI total to 44 in the Giants' 5-2 win in the series opener on Monday, a defeat that extended Arizona's overall losing streak to 11 games and road skid to 20.

On the same day it was announced that Giants catcher Buster Posey had taken over the lead in All-Star balloting among NL catchers, Crawford remained well back in a stacked shortstop pack that includes the Paders' Fernando Tatis Jr., the Cubs' Javier Baez, the Dodgers' Corey Seager and the Nationals' Trea Turner.

Crawford currently has the advantage of playing for the team with the best record in the league to complement some historically good numbers he has put up.

Crawford's home run total already is tied for the ninth-most in an entire season among shortstops in Giants' history. He logged one of the top eight totals when he belted 21 in 2015, his first All-Star season. He also made the All-Star Game in 2018.

Only one shortstop has ever hit more than 15 home runs in a first half for the Giants, as Hall of Famer Travis Jackson had 17 in 1929.

Crawford's 44 RBIs in 54 games are almost halfway to the Giants' full-season franchise record for a shortstop of 97 set by Jackson in 1934.

Giants manager Gabe Kapler is so excited about the prospects of Crawford, at age 34, returning to the All-Star stage, he has started scouting out the competition on the internet.

"One of my favorite sites is FanGraphs, and I checked FanGraphs to see where he ranked with the other shortstops around baseball, and it's pretty favorable for Craw," Kapler said before Monday's game. "He's really had a great year. And obviously, Tatis is a great shortstop as well. But I'd put Craw up there with anybody in the game right now. I'm very confident in his defense, and his at-bats have been outstanding all year."

Neither manager announced a starting pitcher for Tuesday, but right-hander Zack Littell (0-0, 1.47) is expected to get the ball for the Giants as an opener. He likely will be followed by 25-year-old left-hander Sammy Long, who threw four innings of one-hit relief at Texas last Wednesday in his big-league debut.

The Diamondbacks have one of their top prospects, 23-year-old right-hander Corbin Martin, available after he was promoted from Triple-A Reno for this series.

Martin has seven games of major league experience under his belt, including throwing four innings in a start against the Giants in May. He was bombed for six runs on five hits and three walks in four innings in that game, after which he was demoted to the minors.

The outing left him with an 0-1 record and 13.50 career ERA against San Francisco.

Crawford had a three-run double off Martin in that game.

"We felt like he was ready to come back and help us," Diamondbacks pitching coach Matt Herges said of the promotion. "We love this pitcher. We love the stuff. We love his make-up.

"Obviously, every pitcher, unless they throw a perfect game, can command the ball better. I think he's on the right track with that. He's getting a better feel for what he's doing, how he's moving. His confidence is gaining. I loved what I saw in his eyes (Monday). He's ready to roll."

--Field Level Media

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