What a great story.
Manager Bruce Bochy lights a fire under Brandon Crawford by declaring the shortstop will sit against some left-handed pitchers. Crawford seethes. Every time he faces a lefty and the ball comes to the plate, he imagines the ball is Bochy's big head and attacks it with fury, getting hit after hit, culminating in Sunday's game-ending home run against Colorado lefty Rex Brothers.
Well, it would have been a great story had Crawford not doused it by saying his newfound success against lefties came from hard work.
After Crawford's first career walk-off homer and McCovey Cove shot gave the Giants a 5-4, 10-inning victory, he said Bochy's declaration had nothing to do with him starting the season 7-for-14 against lefties after a career .214 average.
"I knew it was something I needed to work on, so I worked on it more in spring training," Crawford said, knowing he just destroyed a great narrative.
"Now I've got to figure out how to hit righties."
Crawford was half-kidding. He is 5-for-25 against right-handed pitchers. Opposing managers who do not believe in small sample sizes still bring in lefties to face him.
Crawford beat a good one Sunday to get his team a series victory against the Rockies that evened the Giants' record at 3-3 on a homestand that concludes with the Dodgers' first visit of 2014.
Colorado is grooming Brothers to be its closer. He started the 10th inning with no runs and one hit allowed in 4 2/3 innings this season.
Crawford took an offspeed pitch that went to the backstop for ball one before turning on a middle-in fastball. The distance was not an issue, but Crawford stood at the plate to ensure the ball stayed fair.
First-base umpire Dale Scott confirmed that with an emphatic jab, and the celebration was on.
"Awesome," Tim Hudson said after the Giants improved to 3-0 in his starts. "That was absolutely a bomb. It was great to see."
Crawford had to think fast running the bases. Not since Little League, perhaps, had he reached home plate with a mob of teammates lying in wait after a game-ending home run. Kids are taught not to commit assault and battery on the hero. Big-leaguers relish it.
What a great story.