San Francisco's shortstop stops by SacTownAug 08, 2022 12:00AM ● By By Shaun Holkko, sports editor
San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford fields a ground ball during a rehab stint with the River Cats on Tuesday, August 2 at Sutter Health Park in Sacramento. Photo courtesy of Ricardo Cazares
WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) – It’s not often that you have a three-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove Award winner rolling through Sacramento and suiting up for the River Cats.
However, the uncommon occurred last week as San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford played for the Giants’ Triple-A affiliate, the Sacramento River Cats. Crawford was in town for multiple days to get in some game-action before returning to San Francisco following a stint on the injured list with a knee injury.
“The past week’s been pretty good,” Crawford told the media before taking the field on Tuesday, August 2. “I had three or four days where I wasn’t really feeling anything in the knee. I’m hoping to continue that.”
The Mountain View native had been on the IL since July 16 after aggravating the knee that had previously sidelined him once before this season. Crawford aggravated the injury on June 21 during a 12-10 victory over the reigning World Series champions, the Atlanta Braves. He spent the minimum 10 days on the IL before returning on July 5.
Crawford may have rushed his return coming back after 10 days, because 11 days later, he was right back on the IL as the Giants continue to fight to keep their record above .500 following a National League West division title last season.
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“I have to make sure the knee is feeling good before I come off the IL,” Crawford said. “Last time I came off the IL and felt good for a game, but the next week after that I wasn’t feeling great. I feel like the only way to test it in a game like situation is to actually play a game. That’s kind of what we decided would be best. Hopefully going forward the next couple months it feels pretty good.”
Before his return from the IL, the 35-year-old recorded a .215 batting average with five home runs, 33 RBI, 29 runs scored and 10 doubles in 72 games for San Francisco this season.
“We’re not far out of the playoff race right now,” Crawford explained. “Hopefully I can come back healthy, and Evan Longoria can come back healthy, and we can be at full strength for a little while. I think with the guys that we have, and we kept, we can make a push for the playoffs.”
As for his time spent in Sacramento, this wasn’t the veteran’s first time experiencing the Capitol of California.
“It’s definitely convenient,” Crawford said about Sutter Health Park being within driving distance of Oracle Park. “I’ve always enjoyed Sacramento. I’ve had family that’s lived up here. I have definitely played one exhibition here. I can’t remember if I’ve played two. It’s nice to come back out.”
Crawford returned to the majors on Saturday, August 6. The timing couldn’t have been any better for the man who was once a boy born in the Bay Area, as the Giants swept a two-game set on the road from their regional rivals, the Oakland Athletics, in the Battle of the Bay.
In eight at bats over the weekend, Crawford had three hits, two runs scored, one run batted in and one walk with three strikeouts. The Giants won Saturday 7-3 and Sunday 6-4.
As of Monday morning, August 8, San Francisco (53-55) is 6.5 games back of their rival, the San Diego Padres (61-50), who currently hold the third and final Wild Card spot. Both teams will need a WC berth to get into the playoffs as the Los Angeles Dodgers (75-33) are currently running away with the NL West crown.