A day after slugging a decisive fourth-inning grand slam in the Giants’ 8-0 win over Pittsburgh in the National League wild-card game, shortstop Brandon Crawford said the magnitude of that swing still hadn’t sunk in.
“I think that might take a little while,” Crawford said. “I still can’t believe a shortstop hadn’t done that before.”
Crawford became the first shortstop in major-league history to hit a postseason grand slam, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Crawford said he had been told several pitchers have accomplished the feat, but none of the storied figures who have shared his position.
Crawford said he received “a good amount” of text messages on his phone after the game. “Kind of funny the people you hear from when you do something like that on the national stage,” he said.
Crawford said he also talked briefly after the game with Pirates starter Gerrit Cole – a fellow UCLA alum who dates Crawford’s sister. Amy Crawford did her best to stay neutral Wednesday night, posting to her Twitter account after Crawford’s big hit: “Welp … That’s my brother.”
“He said congratulations,” Crawford said of Cole, “and good luck with the Nationals.”
Hudson, Bumgarner up next – Giants manager Bruce Bochy said after Jake Peavy pitches Friday’s National League Division Series opener against the Nationals, Tim Hudson will start Game 2 on Saturday and Madison Bumgarner will pitch Game 3 in San Francisco on Monday.
Bochy didn’t name a potential starter for Game 4 or reveal his 25-man roster Thursday, saying the Giants were waiting to determine Michael Morse’s availability. He said there’s a possibility of carrying 12 pitchers, which would leave them with just four bench players.
Nationals manager Matt Williams said he will follow today’s starter, Stephen Strasburg, with Jordan Zimmermann in Game 2 and Doug Fister in Game 3. That would make Monday’s Game 3 a repeat of the matchup from Game 2 of the 2012 World Series, when Bumgarner outdueled Fister, then with the Detroit Tigers.
Hudson explains comment – Following Wednesday night’s wild-card win, Hudson was quoted by The Washington Post as saying the Nationals have “a talented group (and) some great pitching. But come playoff time, talent can take you a long ways, but what do you have between your legs?”
The quote got some attention as a shot at the Nationals, but Hudson denied Thursday he intended the comment as a slight.
“Not at all,” he said. “I was referring to our team. I just think our club – on paper we may not match up with a lot of people. But once you get out there and you play, the guts and the heart that this team has – and like you said, what they have between their legs – will get this team over the hump a lot of times.
“By no means was I referring to (the Nationals) not having any.”
Managerial connections – Both managers have interesting connections with the opposing cities.
Williams, an All-Star third baseman for the Giants, is making his first postseason appearance as a major-league manager.
“It’s a nice feeling,” Williams said. “But we’ll try to beat them and see what we can do to accomplish that goal.”
Bochy said he lived several years in the Washington, D.C., area when his father was stationed at the Pentagon. Bochy said the first major-league game he attended was a Washington Senators game, and he had a paper route delivering the now-defunct Washington Star.
“I was an Evening Star guy,” Bochy said. “I couldn’t get up early in the morning.”