Brandon Crawford makes Royals pay in rare matchup since 2014 World Series

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Crawford makes Royals pay in rare matchup since '14 World Series originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SAN FRANCISCO -- As music poured out of the Giants clubhouse late Monday night, a group of eight children waited patiently outside. All were wearing shirts connecting them to Brandon Crawford -- four of the children were his -- and they stood in the hall and offered high-fives to Giants players and coaches until the shortstop finished up his postgame TV interview and walked up the dugout steps.

Crawford was immediately engulfed in a group hug that provided the latest reminder of how long he has been doing this. The 35-year-old has a large and extended family now, but he is still in the middle of much of what the Giants do, just as he was during the most notable series between the Giants and Kansas City Royals.

When they visited eight years ago, Crawford was the starting shortstop for the Giants and catcher Salvador Perez was one of Kansas City's stars. On Monday, they were the last two standing. Well, kind of.

As he talked about playing Perez all these years later, it was pointed out to Crawford that one more 2014 Giant remains.

"Who?" he said, laughing and glancing in the direction of the injured Brandon Belt's locker.

That's another thing that hasn't changed around here since 2014. Crawford was needling Belt back then and he still does whenever given a chance. He still is coming up big for the Giants, too.

It has been a slow start to season No. 12 for Crawford, but he had the biggest hit in a 6-2 win over the Royals that extended the winning streak to four games. The Giants drew a season-high nine walks but had a hard time pushing them across until the seventh, when Crawford doubled to right to bring home Darin Ruf and Austin Slater, both of whom had walked.

The double turned a one-run game into a three-run game, which was plenty given how good the bullpen has been in recent days. It also made up for an earlier missed opportunity.

Royals starter Brady Singer had walked just four batters in his previous eight appearances this year, but after Austin Wynns doubled with two outs in the third, Singer completely lost control of the strike zone. He didn't just walk Giants, he sprayed the ball around.

Four straight Giants drew walks, tying the game at 2-2. Crawford came up with the bases loaded and knew that Singer had lost touch with the strike zone. But he also knew he couldn't count on a walk. He swung at a 2-1 pitch that was going to be a low strike and lined out to center.

"You want to keep your aggressiveness but also swing at strikes," he said. "In that at-bat, early in the game when he had walked a few guys, I don't necessarily want to just go up there and take pitches and just assume he's going to walk me, because I'm not as good of a hitter that way. But you still want to make sure that you're seeing a good pitch to hit, also."

RELATED: While Belt nears return, Giants' Boyd has sim game cut short

Crawford got one in the seventh. Arodys Vizcaino elevated a 97 mph fastball and Crawford pulled it down the line, scoring both runners. The hit was one of just five for the Giants, but they drew nine walks and got hit by a pitch. Four of the walked batters came around to score against a Royals pitching staff that leads the Majors in free passes.

The Royals team that the Giants saw in 2014 had a strong pitching staff that was in the bottom third of the Majors in walks. But times have changed on both sides, with the exception of the veteran catcher still wearing Royals blue and the homegrown shortstop still helping the Giants win games.

"I like Salvador, so it's fun to see him since we don't get to play them very often," Crawford said. "It was eight years ago now. I guess it's surprising in a way, but that's kind of how baseball is. There's a lot of movement with players and teams."

Download and follow the Giants Talk Podcast