Brandon Crawford should thank Don Mattingly for his 7-hit night

BCraw

Brandon Crawford had a history-setting night on Monday in Miami.

But more importantly, the Giants won.

Crawford became the sixth player in major league history to collect seven hits in a game when he went 7 for 8 with a double, triple and five singles in an 8-7 win over the Marlins.

Crawford’s seventh hit of the game proved to be the game-winner. He singled home Brandon Belt from second with two out in the top of the 14th. George Kontos made the lead stand up.

Other major leaguers to get seven hits in a single game include:

  • Johnny Burnett of the Cleveland Indians went 9 for 11 with two doubles and seven singles in an 18-inning game on July 10, 1932
  • Wilbert Robinson of the Baltimore Orioles (NL-version) went 7 for 7 with a double and six singles in a nine-inning game on June 10, 1892
  • Rennie Stennett of the Pittsburgh Pirates went 7 for 7 with a two doubles, a triple and four singles in a nine-inning game on Sept. 16, 1975
  • Rocky Colavito of the Detroit Tigers went 7 for 10 with a triple and six singles in a 22-inning game on June 24, 1962
  • Cesar Gutierrez of the Detroit Tigers went 7 for 7 with a double and six singles in a 12-inning game on June 21, 1970.

To put Crawford’s night into perspective, consider …

  • Crawford had more hits by himself Monday than six teams managed.
  • The Giants have played 35 games this season in which they failed to get seven hits as a team.
  • Crawford started the game hitting .265 for the season. He finished the game hitting .278.
  • For his career, Crawford raised his average for .249 to .251.

After driving in the go-ahead run in the 14th, Crawford alertly got thrown out trying to take second to save Hunter Pence from a five-strikeout game.

And because of that, Brandon Crawford — and the Giants — should send Marlins manager Don Mattingly a thank-you card.

In the top of the 14th inning, Angel Pagan hit into a hard-luck double play. Then Brandon Belt walked on four pitches by Dustin McGowan. Buster Posey followed by falling behind 0-2 then working a walk off a tiring McGowan.

That brought up Crawford with two on and two out. And Mattingly brought in Andrew Cashner.

The numbers say Cashner should have pitched around Crawford.

Here’s why.

Brandon Crawford was 8 for 19 in his career against Cashner.

Left-handed hitters were batting .278 against Cashner this season, while righties are hitting .257.

Hunter Pence, the next batter, was 3 for 20 for his career off Cashner.

But more importantly was what happened Monday.

Crawford was 6 for 7 when he came to bat in the 14th. Pence was 1 for 7 with four strikeouts, and looked bad when doing it.

So Mattingly decided to have his right-handed pitcher pitch to a left-handed batter who was 6 for 7 and was hitting .421 for his career off that pitcher instead of pitching to a right-handed hitter who was 1 for 7 and hitting .150 for his career off that pitcher.

And Mattingly had seen Pence’s struggles an inning before.

In the 13th inning, Crawford hit a one-out triple. Pence came up, swung wildly and missed two pitches before making contact and grounding out to a pulled-in infield, forcing Crawford to stay at third. Mattingly then intentionally walked the next two batters to pitch to Madison Bumgarner, who came in as a pinch-hitter. Bumgarner struck out.

So thank you, Don Mattingly.

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