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Crawford raking early against southpaws

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Though the season remains in its infancy, Brandon Crawford has dispelled any notion that left-handed pitching overwhelms him.

The Giants shortstop has been especially proficient lately against lefties -- who, according to baseball's time-honored percentages, should give him fits since he bats left-handed.

Full Game Coverage

SAN FRANCISCO -- Though the season remains in its infancy, Brandon Crawford has dispelled any notion that left-handed pitching overwhelms him.

The Giants shortstop has been especially proficient lately against lefties -- who, according to baseball's time-honored percentages, should give him fits since he bats left-handed.

Full Game Coverage

Including his game-winning homer off Rex Brothers in Sunday's 5-4, 10-inning victory over Colorado, Crawford has delivered his last four hits off lefties. Moreover, all went for extra bases. He doubled off Arizona's Joe Thatcher on Thursday, tripled off Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa on Friday and doubled against Brothers on Saturday.

If anything, Crawford has overcompensated. His .308 batting average included a .500 showing (7-for-14) off lefties, compared with .200 (5-for-25) against right-handers.

Crawford said he simply has continued to try to stay closed -- to avoid turning his front (right) shoulder away from the pitch when he swings.

"I'm trying to focus on that," Crawford said. "And if they pitch inside, react."

That's easier said than done against lefties.

"A lot of them have that fastball that runs back inside," Crawford said.

Crawford's success against left-handers isn't entirely new. He hit .254 against them in 2012, compared with .246 off right-handers. His splits last year were more typical of a left-handed batter. Southpaws limited him to a .199 average, well below his .269 average off right-handers.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat.

 

San Francisco Giants, Brandon Crawford