SF Giants’ Brandon Crawford avoids worst-case scenario after home-plate collision vs. Braves

ATLANTA — The Giants avoided catastrophe when shortstop Brandon Crawford walked — OK, limped — away from a collision at home plate Tuesday night against the Braves with only a knee contusion.

On a sacrifice fly from Luis González in the fourth inning, Crawford appeared to injure his left leg while scoring at home plate, forcing him to leave the game. Crawford was initially called out — and seemed to react late to there being a play at home plate at all — when Michael Harris II’s throw from center field beat him home.

Upon review, Crawford was called safe, giving the Giants a 6-5 lead in an eventual 12-10 win.

His left knee collided with Atlanta catcher Travis d’Arnaud’s shin guard, leaving him with a knee contusion (bruise) but nothing more serious.

After the game, manager Gabe Kapler said Crawford would undergo an MRI on Wednesday, but he wasn’t expected to miss much time.

“It could’ve been worse,” Crawford said. “A lot of people have been asking how I’m doing. Relatively fine, I think.”

During the play, Crawford’s right leg appeared to get twisted while crossing home plate, then had his left leg caught under catcher Travis d’Arnaud’s shin guard. After spending a few minutes sitting on the dirt behind home plate, Crawford limped back to the dugout with a trainer, appearing to favor the right leg and shaking his left leg.

d’Arnaud gave a message to his catching counterpart Austin Wynns to pass along to Crawford.

“He felt bad. He told me to make sure to tell Craw that I’m sorry I did that,” Wynns said. “We don’t mean to do that. It’s just a bang-bang play. It’s our job, not to block the plate, but to get the ball right to the plate. Then the collision and the tag. It is what it is, man. I’m just glad he’s OK. Everyone’s OK.”

Crawford said the late slide was intentional — he thought it was the only way he would score on the play. Unable to know the counterfactual, he was right that it ended up being an effective way to avoid d’Arnaud’s tag.

“I think if I slide normally, he probably blocks me off and I don’t get in there,” Crawford said. “I did what I was trying to do.”

A trainer asked him how his right ankle was, considering the appearance of they play, but it was such a nonfactor that Crawford shrugged him off. The knee was the only concern — and a minor one, at that.

Crawford’s ability to bounce back from the collision with the expectation that he won’t require a stint on the injured list is just another example of his durability. Crawford’s 1,469 games at shortstop are the most in franchise history, and he has never missed more than 24 in a single season.

Contributed by local news sources

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