SAN FRANCISCO -- There are just three men -- both Willies and Barry Bonds -- who have played more games for the San Francisco Giants than Brandon Crawford, a club you don't join unless you're very, very good and also very, very durable.
Crawford has been both, but for all that he has accomplished with his bat and his glove, his most impressive feat through 1,505 career games might be the fact that he has had just two short stints on the Injured List. When Crawford limped off the field in the middle of the Giants' 12-10 win over the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on Tuesday, it looked like he would certainly end up with a third, and possibly an extended one, but the Giants appear to have caught a break.
Crawford had an X-ray that eliminated any thoughts of a fracture, but he will have an MRI on Wednesday. For now, the Giants are calling it a left knee contusion, about the best possible result for a vital player who kept his sense of humor after the collision, a sign that he's not too worried.
Asked by reporters in Atlanta how he was feeling, Crawford smiled.
"Cold. I just iced it," he said. "It's doing alright. Structurally it looks fine. I'll have an MRI tomorrow just to be sure, but I think I'll be OK. It could have been worse. A lot of people have asked how I'm doing and I'm relatively fine, I think. It could have been worse."
The injury looked serious at first, with Crawford's right ankle rolling across the plate and then getting crushed and his left knee also getting hit by Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud. It was the second awkward slide of this trip for Crawford, who also had a collision at second base in Pittsburgh. He said he felt that sliding late was his only way to score ahead of a strong throw from center field.
Crawford was initially ruled out at the plate but the Giants asked for a review as Crawford was helped off the field. The call was overturned.
"When they overturned it I immediately felt a little better," Crawford said.
The run gave the Giants the lead in a wild back-and-forth game. The Braves hit four homers -- including one that put them back on top after the Crawford run -- but the Giants pulled away late.
Thairo Estrada moved to short after Crawford departed and Wilmer Flores entered at second. Both had RBI hits in the ninth as the Giants built a four-run lead.
Estrada is likely to start at short if Crawford misses the rest of this series. He has played shaky defense there the last couple of nights, a reminder of how important Crawford is on a daily basis. The good news for the Giants is that they only expect to be without him for a couple of games.