The stat Mariners SS J.P. Crawford leads MLB in since start of 2023

Jun 2, 2024, 1:22 PM

Seattle Mariners J.P. Crawford grand slam Angels 2024...

Seattle Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford hits a grand slam against the Angels on June 1. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

(Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Seattle Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford has developed quite the knack for excelling in bases-loaded situations.

In fact, no MLB hitter over the past two seasons has inflicted more damage with the bags packed than him.

Video: Mariners SS J.P. Crawford belts grand slam vs. Angels

Since the start of 2023, Crawford is 13-for-20 with three grand slams, a triple, three doubles and 34 RBIs with the bases loaded, according to Mariners PR. He has an absurd 1.350 slugging percentage and 1.941 OPS in bases-loaded situations over that stretch, which is the highest among all MLB players with at least 15 such plate appearances during that span.

Crawford’s latest bases-loaded highlight came on Saturday, when he belted a fourth-inning grand slam to break open a 9-0 rout of the Los Angeles Angels.

“He’s a very competitive guy,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said prior to Sunday’s series finale. “He likes being up in those spots. And once you get in those spots and you start having success, you’re like, ‘When do I come up again? I hope I’m the guy that gets the opportunity to.’ And you can certainly see that in his eyes. As he’s headed to the plate, he’s looking forward to the opportunity.”

With the bags packed and two outs in the bottom of the fourth on Saturday, Crawford fell behind 1-2 against Angels starter Reid Detmers. Crawford then fouled off a slider and took another slider for a ball before getting a 2-2 curveball in the upper part of the zone. The 29-year-old Crawford jumped on the mistake, pulling a 359-foot grand slam over the right-field fence to give Seattle a 5-0 lead.

“I think what he does in those moments is he gets good pitches to hit,” Servais said. “He’s not always gonna come through, but he’s getting good pitches to hit in those spots. He’s not missing them.”

Crawford had another big bases-loaded moment earlier in the week. With the bags packed in the bottom of the 10th on Wednesday night, Crawford lifted a walk-off sacrifice fly to right field to give the Mariners a 2-1 win over the Houston Astros.

“If there’s a chance to deliver in any moment, you capitalize on it, no matter what the score is or anything,” Crawford said after Saturday’s game. “Whenever those moments come, you’ve gotta be ready for them.”

After Crawford recently missed about four weeks with a pair of injuries, the Mariners are certainly glad to have their team captain back in the lineup. Crawford was sidelined with a strained oblique for most of that time, and then had his return delayed a few days after getting hit in the hand by a pitch during a rehab stint.

Since his return to Seattle’s lineup on May 20, Crawford is hitting .255/.333/.489 with two home runs, five doubles and an .823 OPS in 13 games. He also had a spectacular play at shortstop on Thursday, when he made a diving stop on a grounder up the middle and flipped the ball out of his glove to second baseman Dylan Moore, who then threw to first for the out.

“I thought the guys who filled in (for J.P.) did an awesome job,” Servais said after Saturday’s game. “I can’t give enough credit to (Moore) and what (Josh) Rojas was able to do. But there’s a reason J.P.’s our guy. It’s nice to have him out there in the middle of the field and certainly at the top of the lineup. He’s been there before, he’s gonna be there all year for us and hopefully for a long time to come.

“What he brings every day, you can’t really put it in words. It’s the competitive fire. The vibe of the clubhouse kind of goes through J.P. every day. And he’s earned that.”

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The stat Mariners SS J.P. Crawford leads MLB in since start of 2023