With the San Francisco Giants moving to an analytics-driven team philosophy recently, veterans on the squad have to provide proof of their skills, numbers-wise, or they’ll be shown the door in a hurry.
That’s the way I’ve felt since Farhan Zaidi took over baseball operations, but thus far in 2021, the championship-winning Giants — such as shortstop Brandon Crawford — are leading the new-age club to a solid start.
Crawford blasted a crucial home run in the Giants’ 4-3 win over the Rockies on Saturday, with the baseball landing over the right field wall and onto the walkway.
Here’s the bat-on-ball connection, courtesy of the San Francisco Giants’ official Twitter account.
Now that was a shot. Old dog, old trick. Crawford, at 34 years of age, is still thriving in big moments, just as he did during the Giants’ dynasty of the 2010s. Relatively new manager Gabe Kapler says he believes in “Craw.”
“Craw wants every big at-bat, every big moment and for good reason,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “Put plain and simply, I believe in him in those big moments.”San Francisco Chronicle
Kapler must mean what he said, at least for this at-bat, with Crawford, a left-handed hitter, facing a left-handed pitcher. Crawford has been platooned against such pitchers a bit this season, though he owns a higher career batting average against left-handed throwers.
Crawford also had a vital two-run double in the Giants’ home opener, so no matter his role, it appears he still has game, along with the trust of his manager, Kapler.
(Photo credit: Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)