MLB

Giants star Brandon Crawford made shortstop history

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Baseball has a long history, obviously, and thus its record book is more cherished than those in other sports.

It's the reason that cheating and the Steroid Era is so difficult for some many to digest. They just don't know how to feel about that record book anymore.

While it seems like pretty much any combination of weird things has already happened in a game, at some point somewhere, there are still firsts that occur.

On Wednesday night, that first involved the grand slam off the bat of Brandon Crawford that pushed the Giants to their 8-0 win over the Pirates in the one-game playoff.

It was the first time, ever, a shortstop had hit a grand slam in a postseason game.

"You know, it's obviously cool to do something like that," Crawford told MLB.com. "But you can't hit a grand slam without the guys in front of you getting on base. So it's kind of a team thing in that sense and I'm just glad it helped us get a win. That's what matters, in the end."

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Why did it happen now?

One factor is that shortstops are simply bigger power hitters now than they have ever been in the game.

Another factor is that Pirates starter Edinson Volquez gave him a good pitch to hit. “That one pitch changed the whole game,” Volquez said.

Volquez also said that he was trying to bounce the pitch to get Crawford to chase a bad pitch, but it ended up running right over the middle of the plate.

"Oh, it was huge," Giants manager Bruce Bochy told MLB.com. "We're facing a guy that's been throwing the ball very well. You're just looking for a timely hit, and we couldn't have gotten a bigger one there. Crawford's been swinging the bat very well, so I was confident with him up there that he'd do something -- but I didn't know he would hit a grand slam."

It was Crawford's third career grand slam but his first postseason home run.

Who is Brandon Crawford?

You're probably still asking yourself that question. For one, he hit a career-best 10 homers this season. After Wednesday, he now has 27 career MLB homers.

But, he's hit one in the clutch before as a pro. In 2010, he hit an 11th inning grand slam while in Class A in the California League Championship Series.

"That's definitely the biggest one I've ever hit at any level," Crawford said afterward. "It's tough to put it into words, but anytime you can help your team win a game and advance in the postseason, that's why you play the game. Nights like this are why we play the game."

Crawford grew up not far from San Francisco in Pleasanton, where he played baseball before heading to UCLA, where he was named the team's MVP twice. He was a 2008 fourth-round pick of the Giants and is married to former UCLA gymnast Jalynne Dantzscher.

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Topics:
MLB National League
San Francisco Giants
MLB

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