Culture

SF Giants need more from the Brandons to reach last year’s regular season heights


SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 12: San Francisco Giants' Brandon Crawford (35) takes a moment to rest during a pitching change in the seventh inning of their MLB game at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Sunday, June 12, 2022. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

SAN FRANCISCO — Some day the Brandons will have their own statues outside Oracle Park along with Buster Posey.

That’s how much Crawford and Belt have meant to the Giants, authoring moments of high drama at the plate and spectacular defense afield. Posey called it a career after last season’s out-of-the-blue 107 wins and NL West title. The Brandons are in the middle of things for a 2022 version of the Giants that is lagging a bit behind the pace of their predecessors.

The Giants are 35-27 heading into a seven-game road trip that begins in Pittsburgh Friday and then hits Atlanta. They’re coming off a 6-3 homestand which curiously included three losses to also-rans (two to Colorado, one to Kansas City) and a sweep of the Dodgers.

They’ve been alone in third place since May 9 behind the Dodgers and Padres and have yet to reach 10 games over .500. At the same point a year ago, the Giants were 39-23, in first place and other than being out a half-game on Sept. 1, stayed that way all season.

Not coincidentally, Posey had his best year in a decade and the Brandons were in the process of having career seasons at an advanced age, at least in a baseball sense.

Posey is gone, having won three World Series championships and Joey Bart in Triple-A, not quite ready to be the heir apparent. Crawford and Belt could catch Posey with another ring. The Giants are going to need more from both men for that to happen.

It’s fair to wonder if it’s realistic for the Brandons to continue such a late-career upswing. It’s not trending in that direction.

Crawford, 35, played in his 1,500th game Wednesday. By the end of this week, he will have passed Jim Davenport (1,501) and the only San Francisco Giants who have played in more games than Crawford will be Willie McCovey (2,256), Willie Mays (2,095) and Barry Bonds (1,976).

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 12: San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Crawford (35) takes a moment to rest during a pitching change in the seventh inning of their MLB game at Oracle Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Sunday, June 12, 2022. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 

“That’s a pretty short list and those are great players,” Crawford said. “It’s cool to be on that list.”

Not long after Crawford tied the record, he made an error on the right side of the infield off the bat of M.J. Melendez on a shift. It allowed two runs to score and the Giants eventually lost to the Royals 3-2. It was his eighth error in 55 games. Last season he had nine errors in 135 and won his fourth Gold Glove for defense.

Judging defense solely on the number of errors is dicey, and Crawford flatly said “no” when he was asked if things felt different defensively this season.

Giants manager Gabe Kapler attributes the errors to bad breaks.

“I think he’s had some balls hop up on him and some tougher hops,” Kapler said. “Sometimes you put yourself …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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