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Has Brandon Crawford played his last game? Longest-tenured SF Giant goes on IR; eligible for final game at Oracle Park

Longtime San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford, the last link to the team's World Series dynasty, may have played his final game with the club following an injury that took him out of Wednesday's loss to Arizona. But there may also be a chance for fans to give him a proper send-off.

The Giants placed Crawford, a free agent at the end of the season, on the 10-day injured reserve list Thursday morning after he left the game against the Diamondbacks in Phoenix in the third inning with right hamstring tightness. 

Crawford told reporters after the game Wednesday he felt the hamstring tighten while running out a ground ball. He said he was hopeful it would feel better in a few days, but acknowledged the timing of the injury coming just days before the end of the season when his current contract expires.

"That was the first thing I thought of," Crawford told reporters. "It's the most frustrating timing I've probably ever had with an injury." 

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Angels
Brandon Crawford #35 of the San Francisco Giants adjusts his hat as he walks into the dugout during the fourth inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 08, 2023 in Anaheim, California. Michael Owens / Getty Images

The Giants have lost five out of seven games on their current road trip and are seeing their slim playoff chances slipping away. The team is currently three games out of the final Wild Card sport with 10 games left in the season. Crawford is eligible to return for the last regular season game on Oct. 1 against the Dodgers at Oracle Park, which could be his final appearance in a Giants uniform. 

Crawford has said he wants to retire as a Giant but has not stated whether this would be his final year in the league. He signed a two-year extension to his contract after the 2021 season in which the Giants won a franchise-best 107 games and Crawford hit a career-high 24 home runs.

The 36-year-old Crawford is the longest-tenured Giant on the roster and the last player remaining from the team's last World Series championship in 2014. A graduate of Foothill High School in Pleasanton, California, Crawford was drafted by the team he grew up rooting for in 2008. He made his debut with the Giants in 2011 following the team's World Series win in 2010. He has been the team's Opening Day shortstop every year since the 2012 season, which also ended in a World Series victory.

Crawford is a three-time All-Star and a four-time Gold Glove Award winner; he is widely recognized as one of the best defensive shortstops in the league. He also holds the Giants franchise record for most games played at shortstop and is one of the team's most beloved players.

The Giants are currently at 76 wins and 76 losses. The team begins a four-game series in Los Angeles Thursday against the 1st-place Dodgers before returning home for three games against San Diego and another three against the Dodgers to finish out the regular season.

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