SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — No one could have faulted Brandon Crawford for being a little anxious when the San Francisco Giants broke training camp last spring.
He was heading into the final year of his contract and the team appeared heading toward a rebuilding season after showing signs of aging from the squads that won World Series crowns in 2010, 2012 and 2014.READ MORE: Suspect In Shopping Center Parking Lot Shootout With Milpitas Police Dies Of Wounds
But even Crawford couldn’t have imagine how this dream season would unfold. Spectacular plays have been Crawford’s signature all season long at age 34 as he helped lead the the Giants to the NL West crown.
Crawford batted .298 and finished the regular season with career highs of 24 home runs and 90 RBIs — the most runs driven in by a Giants player since Buster Posey’s 95 in 2015 — and 12 of those being game-winners.
He had the top batting average in the majors since July 1 with a minimum 200 plate appearances at .344 and he has been mentioned as a candidate for the NL MVP.
The Giants rewarded his success with a new $32 million deal that will pay Crawford $16 million in base salary in both 2022 and ’23.READ MORE: Rain Helps Wash Away Fears Of Another Devastating Wildfire For Santa Rosa Couple
Crawford credits Giants skipper Gabe Kapler managerial style with helping him put together such a solid season.
Kapler made it a point to rest all his regulars throughout the season so they would still be at their best come September — and, now, October for the playoff-bound, 107-win Giants.
“I don’t know that it’s the best I’ve felt but I’m fresh enough to be able to go out there and keep playing every day here down the stretch,” Crawford said before the final regular-season series with San Diego. “Between the training staff and some work that I put in this past offseason kind of prepared me for this along with Kap doing a really good job of trying to keep us fresh throughout the year.”
“There have been years in the past where I feel fine and then I end up playing 25 games in a row or something and then I kind of start breaking down.”MORE NEWS: UPDATE: Phish Fan Injured After Being Fallen On at SF Chase Center Concert Describes Brush with Death
© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.