I can remember watching one of those “experts” on TV making some preseason predictions about the Giants.
The “expert” admitted that pitching was the Giants’ strength. But their starting rotation had some question marks. Sure, he analyzed, they had studs in Tim Linecum, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner. But you never what you were going to get from Barry Zito, he said, and it was no given that Ryan Vogelsong could repeat his 2011 performance.
Well, it’s true that Zito has been a pleasant surprise in 2012 (Lincecum an unpleasant one). But for Giants fans who watched him last year, there is no surprise about what Vogelsong has done.
Vogelsong was a rock in 2011. A steady performer. Not flashy. He wasn’t going to throw a no-hitter or strike out 10. He was just going to give you quality innings and give the Giants a chance to win.
And after he found his rhythm after back issues delayed the start of his 2012, Vogelsong has again hit his stride and may be even better than he was in 2011.
Vogelsong held the Rangers to one run on three hits in 7 2/3 innings Saturday. The lone run came on a solo home run that Mitch Moreland nearly hit to Alameda, as Vogelsong labored into the eighth inning.
Vogelsong won his fifth consecutive decision. More importantly, in his 10th start of the season, Vogelsong recorded his ninth quality start.
It was the sixth start since May 3 in which Vogelsong pitched at least seven innings and gave up no more than one earned run.
Could it get much better than that? Well, yes. Vogelsong also got his first hit of the season, leading to the Giants’ first run of the game.
- Pablo Sandoval, in his first start since being activated from the DL, went 1 for 4 with a run-scoring single.
- The Giants have not him a home run at AT&T Park in their past 15 games. The club record is 16 set in 1980. Nate Schierholtz almost snapped the streak when he hit a ball high off the right-center field wall for a triple.
- The game also snapped a nine game home streak in which the Giants did not score more than four runs in a game.
Tim Lincecum returns to the mound in search of his first win since April 28. The Rangers will send Alexi Ogando. Texas is hoping to get 60 pitches out of Ogando, so it will be a bullpen game for the Rangers. Let’s hope it’s not the same for the Giants.