Amazing Brandon Crawford play leads Austin Riley to tip cap

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Amazing play from Crawford earns hat tip from Braves' Riley originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Austin Riley thought he had a base hit in the sixth inning of Friday night's clash between the Giants and the Atlanta Braves at Oracle Park, but Brandon Crawford had other ideas. After the web gem diving play from Crawford got Riley out at first base, the Braves third baseman couldn't help but tip his cap to the three-time Gold Glove shortstop.

Crawford's play kept the Braves from getting a leadoff runner in the sixth inning as they trailed the Giants 4-2. Atlanta did rally to force the game into extra innings, before Kevin Gausman's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 11th scored Crawford and walked things off for the Orange and Black.

After there was talk leading up to the 2021 season about the Giants being interested in what is expected to be a deep free agent class of shortstops, Crawford has demonstrated that his prime hasn't come to a close just yet. Crawford's Wins above Replacement is at its highest mark since 2016, and his .982 fielding percentage is his best since 2018.

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Although Buster Posey's resurgence has been remarkable after sitting out the 2020 campaign, it's hard to argue that anyone other than Crawford is the Giants' MVP this season.

Remarkable plays like the one above are just further evidence of how important Crawford's presence in the Giants lineup is.

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