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.
The Giants were shut out for the first time this season. But you can say one thing good about it — at least they got a hit.
The Dodgers could not say the same thing.
The Dodgers fell victim of a no-hitter when six Mariners pitchers kept them hitless in a 1-0 Seattle win on Friday.
By comparison, the Giants’ first shutout loss of the season doesn’t seem so bad.
The Giants became the last National League team to be shut out, and only two AL team have not been shut out — the Tigers and Indians.
The first shutout in the 58th game of the season is not so bad. Not that it should have come as much of a surprise when Bruce Bochy’s lineup was announced Friday.
That lineup was missed the Giants’ No. 3 and 4 hitters from the past month — Melky Cabrera and Buster Posey. Cabrera sat out with a strained hamstring, and Posey got his normal day off when Barry Zito pitches.
What do you get when you take Cabrera, Posey (not to mention Pablo Sandoval) out of the lineup? The 2011 Giants.
It was the fourth time this season the Cabrera and Posey failed to reach base safely in the same game. The Giants are 0-4 in those games.
Of course, it was really hard for either to reach base when neither had a plate appearance.
So then basically the game was over when Zito gave up a leadoff home run to Ian Kinsler to open the game.
- The Rangers win Friday was their first in 12 games at AT&T Park, including two during the 2010 World Series.
- Angel Pagan went 0 for 4, failing to hit the ball out of the infield, to snap his 15-game hitting streak and a 28-game home hitting streak.
The Giants hope to get their hitting restarted Saturday when Ryan Vogelsong faces Scott Feldman at 1:10 p.m. Saturday. Feldman has given up 19 runs on 17 hits in his last four starts since replacing Neftali Feliz in the starting rotation.