Right-hander Kyle Crick, the Giants' No. 1 prospect, carried his regular-season dominance over to his playoff debut Sunday. He threw seven shutout innings to help Class A Advanced San Jose even its best-of-five California League North Division series with Visalia at one game apiece.
Crick struck out eight batters and didn't allow a walk in the Giants' 2-0 victory. Among those in the stands to see Crick's latest gem was Giants general manager Brian Sabean.
Crick said he didn't know Sabean was there and just tried to follow the game plan against the Rawhide.
"I felt like I if I came out and executed pitchers and worked with the game plan, it'd work out," Crick told MiLB.com "It was just pitching to the glove."
Though a strained oblique kept Crick sidelined for two months earlier in the season, he pitched spectacularly when he returned to the mound in June. Crick, ranked No. 43 on MLB.com's Top 100 prospect list, struck out 95 batters in 68 2/3 innings and posted a 1.57 ERA this season. He played for the U.S. team in the Futures Game in July and will go to the Arizona Fall League next month.
But, thanks in part to his start Sunday, San Jose's season is far from over. If the pressure of starting in the playoffs got to the 20-year old, Crick didn't show it.
"I knew what I had to do," he said. "I knew I had to go out there and put zeros on the board."