On Saturday night at AT&T Park, Jake Peavy came up five outs short of pitching his first career no-hitter. Had he been able to cross the finish line with that historic milestone, he definitely would have owed a big thank you (and perhaps a dinner, or two) to Brandon Crawford, who made two incredible defensive plays that at the moment preserved his bid.
In the fifth inning, Crawford ranged deep into the hole at shortstop to rob and retire Aramis Ramirez with a slick backhand and an Andrelton Simmons like throw across the diamond. That simply means strong and accurate from an angle that isn't conducive to either.
He made it look remarkably easy, too, which added to its beauty.
Ahd that wasn't even his best play.
In the seventh, Crawford made one of the best defensive plays of the entire season, diving towards the middle of the diamond to grab Scooter Gennett's sizzling grounder. Crawford quickly collected himself and then flipped with his glove to Joe Panik to start a ridiculous 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.
At that point, Peavy's no-hitter was safely through seven, Six more outs, and Crawford's effort is one we'd see replayed over and over again for the next several months. As it is, it might deserve that treatment anyway.
Unfortunately for Peavy, his no-hit bid would end in the eighth on Mark Reynolds' soft single to shallow right field. Prior to that at-bat, Reynolds had been 3 for 23 with 12 strikeouts in his career against Peavy.
The close call was Peavy's second in six starts with San Francisco. On Aug. 2 at Citi Field, he carried a perfect game into the seventh inning against the Mets in what to that point was a duel no-hitter with Jacob deGrom. However, once Daniel Murphy spoiled it with a double, the wheels fell off and Peavy allowed four earned runs.
That wouldn't be the case on Saturday. After Peavy retired one more batter, he was removed from the game at 113 pitches, and the Giants would go on to win 3-1.
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