A two-year contract extension in hand and fresh after a day off, Brandon Crawford hopes to build on his turn-back-the-clock campaign when he leads the San Francisco Giants against the visiting Colorado Rockies on Saturday night in a matchup of teams streaking in opposite directions.
Crawford watched his backup at shortstop, Thairo Estrada, contribute an RBI single to a four-run first inning Friday night that propelled the Giants to a 5-4 victory over the Rockies, lengthening their winning streak to a season-best six games.
The Rockies have lost four in a row.
Crawford had a single and a walk in Thursday’s 7-0 series-opening win, extending his hitting streak to five games. He’s gone 9-for-20 (.450) during that stretch.
The contract extension for Crawford, 34, who grew up in the Oakland suburb of Pleasanton, will guarantee him $32 million through the 2023 season.
“As a kid, I always dreamt about wearing the Giants’ uniform,” he said before Friday’s game. “I never thought about playing anywhere else. It’s hard to believe that I lasted this long here with the Giants. Just excited to add a couple more years.”
Crawford is in his 11th season with the Giants. His current .296 batting average is 21 points higher than any previous full season, while he’s closing in on career bests in home runs with 19 and RBIs with 69 this season.
He established his career highs with 21 homers and 84 RBIs in 2015. He matched the 84 RBIs in 2016.
Crawford hasn’t had much luck against left-hander Kyle Freeland (3-6, 4.65 ERA), the Rockies’ scheduled starter on Saturday. He’s gone just 2-for-18 in their lifetime head-to-heads with no extra-base hits, one walk and four strikeouts.
Freeland has won both of his August starts, allowing six runs and 11 hits in 10 innings. He is 6-3 in his career against the Giants, sporting a 3.56 ERA in 15 starts. He has a 2.94 ERA in six career starts at Oracle Park despite a 1-2 record.
Left-hander Sammy Long (1-1, 5.81) is scheduled to start for the Giants. He has never faced the Rockies but will have to pitch against reigning National League Player of the Week C.J. Cron, who had three hits in the Rockies’ loss Friday.
Cron has benefited from hitting behind Brendan Rodgers and Charlie Blackmon, each of whom had two hits Friday, and Ryan McMahon, who will take a 10-game hitting streak into Saturday’s game.
“As the season progressed, you see guys who haven’t had a lot of experience taking big steps forward,” Cron observed. “We’re hitting the cover off the ball, which is outstanding. I think we’re finally starting to figure some stuff out.”
–Field Level Media