Tried as they might, the Miami Marlins just couldn't stop Brandon Crawford.
The San Francisco Giants shortstop recorded seven hits in Monday night's wild 14-inning affair against the Fish, with his last swing driving in the go-ahead run in the top of the 14th. Crawford became the first player in 41 years to tally seven knocks in a game, and the third in NL history to accomplish the feat. To put that in perspective, what he did was rarer than a throwing perfect game, hitting for the cycle or a compiling a four-home run day.
"It's crazy to me," Crawford said afterward, via MLB.com. "The history of the Giants with all the great players that have come through here, you would think that someone would push across seven hits in one day."
The historic [feat] was an especially bitter pill for the Marlins, whose bullpen blew a 5-1 seventh-inning lead after starter Jose Fernandez delivered another quality performance. Miami relievers yielded a total of seven runs after the sixth inning, and it was particularly fitting that Crawford was the one to deliver the game’s decisive blow.
"We didn’t figure out how to get him out today," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "…He’s a tough out right now and I’m sure it’s not going to be fun trying to get him out this whole series."
While it wasn’t fun for Mattingly to watch Crawford pile up the hits, Dusty Baker and company must have surely enjoyed it. With Miami’s loss, the Nationals head into Tuesday up 7 ½ games in the NL East standings — their largest division lead of the season.