SAN DIEGO -- Long before the first pitch Tuesday, or the first hit, or Madison Bumgarner vs. Wil Myers, the Padres tried to gain an edge in a peculiar way. As the Giants took the field for BP, the Petco Park in-stadium employees played a collection of soft songs, from Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are" to "At Last" by Etta James. The DJ then shifted to songs more appropriate for middle-school dances in the 90s than a ballpark in 2016.
The soundtrack peaked when "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)" by the Backstreet Boys blasted through Petco Park. Not exactly hitting music -- unless you're the Giants.
"They thought they were putting us to sleep," shortstop Brandon Crawford said. "They were locking me in."
While the Padres hired a DJ to set up his laptop on the field during BP, the Giants this season simply turned the job over to their shortstop/clubhouse DJ. Crawford's "sneaky awesome" BP soundtrack includes NSYNC, Demi Lovato, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and yes, those Backstreet Boys. A run of cheesy pop songs during BP was not going to throw him off his game. It only helped.
Crawford hit a three-run homer, drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, and tacked on a fifth Giants run with an RBI double. He finished one RBI short of his career-high. Later, he talked about how much he enjoyed the music the Padres played as he took his cuts two hours before the game.
"They were locking me in and they didn't know it," he said, smiling.
You can scour the world in search of talent that can help you win games, and A.J. Preller's Padres have. But sometimes all you need to do for an edge is a little research. Read a blog post, maybe listen to a podcast where a certain shortstop talks about how much his team loves hitting to certain songs.
The Padres might lull some teams to sleep with Backstreet Boys during BP. The Giants in the DJ Crawford Era are not one of those teams.
--- Crawford said he doesn't always have the green light 3-0, but he did when he homered. Andrew Baggarly looked it up and Crawford has five 3-0 swings in his career, leading to three homers and a double. Crawford remembered the lone out. "Cueto ... I flew out to left," he said.
--- The other Brandon reached base for the 24th consecutive game. That's tied for the longest streak of his career. Belt is hitting .400 in his last 21 games against the Padres.
--- Madison Bumgarner pitched a complete game and got into it with another hitter. In the game story, a look at how the fire that led to that Wil Myers altercation is also leading Bumgarner to search for perfection with his mechanics.
--- From yesterday, the Giants will be rooting for Tim Lincecum when he joins the Angels.