San Francisco Giants 3 Up, 3 Down: Swept in the Desert

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 27: Chris Stratton
PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 27: Chris Stratton /
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The San Francisco Giants were swept brutally in the desert by the Arizona Diamondbacks, dropping all three games of the series.

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PHOENIX, AZ – AUGUST 27: Chris Stratton /

3 UP

1 – Rookie Relief

Kyle Crick was given two big spots in the weekend series, and he answered the call in a big way both times. On Friday night in a one-run game, Crick entered in the seventh inning to a first and third situation with only one out. He struck out the first batter he faced, Chris Iannetta, before getting A.J. Pollock to pop out harmlessly to second base, keeping the deficit where it was when he came in.

A similar spot on Sunday called for another Crick fix as he came in to a two-run deficit, trying to hold runners on the corners again with two outs. He was tasked with facing Paul Goldschmidt, notorious Giant killer. Crick needed just four pitches to dispatch of the potential National League MVP, with the final throw being a 96-mile-per-hour fastball that Goldschmidt swung right through.

Crick has quickly made himself one of the biggest bright spots of a terribly disappointing 2017 season. In the very early goings of his career, he owns a 2.66 ERA and a 1.141 WHIP, and is averaging just under a strikeout per inning. He’s also turning into quite the janitor, cleaning up other pitcher’s messes. Crick has inherited 14 baserunners, and stranded 12 of them, including eight in a row.

2 – Another Rookie Shining

Another start for Chris Stratton, another impressive day of work for the rookie. He made his five career start on Sunday, and recorded 10 strikeouts for the second time. His control was a bit shaky against Arizona, as he allowed five walks with four coming to lead off an inning, but he worked through it with an impressive combination of corner command with his fastball and wipeout breaking balls.

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Overall, Stratton went six strong innings for the third straight start, giving up just two runs on four hits while tying himself for the team lead in double-digit strikeout games. Since joining the rotation on August 5th, Stratton has been a revelation. Led primarily by his devastating curveball, Stratton owns a 1.52 ERA, 1.268 WHIP, and has struck out 25 batters in 23.2 innings over four starts. He’s another rookie making a strong case to be a part of this team moving forward.

3 – Shortstop Making Strides

Brandon Crawford followed up a strong homestand with two strong days in Arizona on Friday and Saturday. After a .417/.481/.792 seven-game stretch at home, Crawford picked up three hits in the series opener, including a pair of doubles. He extended his season-best hitting streak to 10 games with another hit on Saturday.

Mild hamstring soreness kept Crawford out of the starting lineup on Sunday, and he hit into a double play in his pinch-hit appearance. Even with that, Crawford still owns a strong .231/.363/.432 slash-line in 24 August games. That’s a huge turnaround from the .231/.272/.377 one he owned from April to July.