As the Giants head into this week’s road trip, there are a lot of positive points to take away from the weekend series in Washington.
After watching the impressive series win vs. the Nationals, Mike Krukow chatted with Murph & Mac on Monday morning, about what he is seeing from this team after this impressive series win.
While the athleticism of Brandon Crawford is apparent, Krukow is drawn more to the similarity between him and the fire that fueled the 2017 Dodgers’ impressive run.
“What is really cool about when a guy goes off, like Crawford, is it elevates everybody,” Krukow said. “You see other guys have career years. It always starts with one guy, one catalyst, in the middle gets hot then everybody emulates as they see. That’s why the Dodgers last year had like eight guys have career years. Well, that’s abnormal. You don’t usually have that, but that’s whats happening with the Giants. They have had this resurgence”
The Dodgers last season, as Krukow noted, finished the regular season with a MLB leading 104 wins behind rookies Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager strong start energizing the team.
While far from a 104 win team, the Giants’ offense appears to be peaking.
“They have this guy who has been hot for a long time and it just takes pressure off their minds, their expectation,” Krukow said. “They just go with the flow and the flow is Crawford. One guy gets it going and then everybody elevates and that’s what is happening to this club right now.”
Krukow isn’t wrong, is the thing. Yes Crawford is having an outstanding year, as he currently has the second best batting average in the National League. However, the team isn’t winning just because of him.
The Giants’ bullpen was lights out this weekend, highlighted by four hit-less innings late in the game Sunday. Krukow believes, based on the talent in the bullpen, five innings is now a quality start from the Giants rotation.
“They have five closers down there,” Krukow said. “Legitimate guys who they can give the ball to and be like ‘OK its your inning get it done.’ Righties, lefties doesn’t matter and there aren’t many teams that can say that. There are teams with really good bullpens, but there aren’t many teams who have five guys you can flip the ball to and tell them it’s their inning.”
Then there is Giants third baseman Andrew McCutchen.
“A couple weeks ago, you said ‘I’m gonna need Andrew McCutchen to get hot'” Murph said. “And I know he didn’t play yesterday, I think he had a pinch hit appearance. But he homered Friday and he is hot! He’s hitting .345 in the last 14 games. Is this kind of consistent with is history?”
“It’s kinda freaky how he’s going right into, historically, what he has done in the past,” Krukow responded. “But again, the whole time we were talking to him in April and May he kept saying ‘be patient, I’ll be there’ and he knows. He’s gone through this before, and that’s the beauty of a veteran they don’t freak out when things don’t go their way.”
Drafted in 2005 by the Pittsburgh Pirates, he spent his entire, five-time All Star career there till he signed with the Giants this off-season. However, for the former MVP winner, the move to the coast has gone rather smoothly. McCutchen currently has the second most doubles in the National League and leads the Giants in total runs.
While the season is young and there still is a lot more baseball to be played, the Giants are winning games impressively. Both the offense and defense are performing strong.
When Murph & Mac asked Krukow how long he thinks this will last, he had a theory of his own.
“How long do you think they can ride this wave?” Murph asked.
“Well, how long does the season last.” He responded laughing.
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Kruk on Crawford start at 3:28