04/26/08 7:08 PM ET
Crawford becoming a triple threat
Propensity for three-baggers puts him in elite company
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
Carl Crawford hit two triples against the Red Sox on Friday night, the sixth time in his career he's had two triples in one game. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only three players who debuted since the end of World War II have had as many multi-triple games as Crawford -- Willie Mays (10), Lance Johnson (eight) and George Brett (seven).
Crawford, who turns 27 on Aug. 5, now has 77 triples for his career, tying Stan Musial and Garry Templeton for the 12th-most before the age of 27 (since 1900). Doc Hoblitzel is next, with 80.
The 77 triples that Crawford has recorded since breaking into the Majors on July 20, 2002, are 16 more than the next closest player (Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins, who has 61).
Crawford has hit three triples in his last three games, and Rays fans might have noticed a difference in his running pattern while making the journey to third. In the past, Crawford always executed a swim-like move while rounding second, giving the appearance that he was about to fall -- and one time last season, he actually did. But on all three of Crawford's triples this season, he has rounded second flawlessly, resulting in him never breaking stride and seemingly arriving at third even faster than normal.
"I practiced on my running during the offseason," Crawford said. "I practiced on running [out triples]. They had me doing that at [Athletes Performance Institute]. It's just a more precise route.
"I don't have to do that swim move to get the angle, where I'm going in a straight line all the time," he added. "I go a little wider [before getting to second base], then cut it straight in so I don't have to do that sharp turn."
Lost in the Rays' four-game win streak is the fact that Crawford is in the middle of a 12-game hit streak, which is one shy of his career high, which he accomplished twice in 2007. He is 22-for-52 (.415) during the streak (which began on April 13), raising his average from .204 to .316.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.