Talking Giants Baseball: A San Francisco Giants/Baseball Blog: San Francisco returns to the "Giants' way," ends five-game losing streak with 5-1 win

Thursday, June 23, 2011

San Francisco returns to the "Giants' way," ends five-game losing streak with 5-1 win

Vogelsong pitches seven solid innings to lead the Giants to victory.

1  2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9    R   H   E
MIN 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 00  1   6   3
SF 0 2 0 0 0 1 1 1-  5   7   1

Vogelsong pitches seven innings to earn his fifth win. Photo courtesy of Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

By Vince Cestone

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants took a five-day vacation from working on their original blueprint, but they got back to old business--good pitching and timely hits.

The Giants looked to improve on their poor start last night, where Madison Bumgarner gave up eight runs in just one-third of an inning pitched. The only out he recorder in the first inning was a strikeout to the Minnesota Twins' pitcher Carl Pavano.

Ryan Vogelsong (5-1), the Giants' new-found ace, pitched seven innings of one-run ball to earn the 5-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins at AT&T Park. With his gutsy pitching performance, the right-hander lowered his earned-run average to 1.86.

The Giants' offense scored at least five runs in a game for the first time since last Wednesday in Arizona, when they beat the Diamondbacks 5-2. Since then, they scored just nine runs five games, not including tonight's game.

Eli Whiteside (2-for-4) was Posey-like with three RBIs. Two of them came on a second-inning triple, giving the Giants a 2-0 lead.

This is all the offense the Giants would need. Still, San Francisco tacked on.

In the sixth inning, Whiteside singled home Nate Schierholtz, increasing the Giants' lead to 3-0. San Francisco tacked on lone insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings.

The Giants' bullpen, which worked 8 2/3 innings of one-run ball last night, were perfect in two innings tonight.

Minnesota righty Nick Blackburn (6-5) pitched a quality game but was the tough-luck loser. In his six strong innings of work, he gave up three runs (two earned) on just four hits

Game Thoughts

By Chris Bissell

The Cinderella story continues for Ryan Vogelsong, helping the Giants end a five-game skid with another brilliant outing. He allowed one earned run while going seven strong innings, recording his fifth win of the season (5-1 overall).

Vogelsong has now made a total of 11 starts this season and is currently sitting at a 1.86 ERA with a WHIP of 1.07. While he doesn't strike out batters at the rate of Tim Lincecum, it's remarkable how well Vogelsong simply commands the strike zone, locating nearly every pitch--and making it look easy.

During his tremendous run through the 11 starts, Vogelsong has amassed the following:

- nine consecutive starts with two earned runs or less: second-longest, single-season streak by a Giants' starter since the team moved to San Francisco in 1958, with 10 of 11 starts in that same category

- Back on May 8, Vogelsong retired the first 15 Rockies he saw en route to a 3-0 victory. He's the second pitcher this year to have multiple perfect-game bids of 4 IP or longer. Jaime Garcia has three.

While Vogelsong is not qualified in terms of innings pitch, that 1.86 ERA would be tied for the Major League lead with Josh Beckett, and would be the NL lead over Jair Jurrjens (2.11 ERA).

Vogelsong is currently sitting at 72.2 innings pitches, and in order to be qualified for the ERA lead, he would need at least 6 1/3 IP in his next start to become qualified (Giants would be at 79 games, and in order to be qualified, a pitcher must have a total innings pitched equal to or greater than the amount of games his team has completed)

Vogelsong has certainly made a case for himself to make the All-Star team, assuming he becomes qualified and doesn't turn into Jonathan Sanchez between now and then. The dilemma is that Bochy most likely can't select both Vogelsong and Lincecum because all three of Philadelphia's aces (Halladay, Lee, Hamels) are All-Star worthy with sub-three ERA's and 100+ IP, not to mention Lee is posting a sub-1.00 ERA in June.

The All-Star game isn't what matters, and to Vogelsong, he can only hope that the dream continues.

Chris's Tidbits

- Aubrey Huff went 1-for-5 tonight with an RBI, and while people continue to describe Huff as in a slump, he has a line of .324/.364/.563 and an OPS of .927. The Giants have been waiting for Huff to heat up and contribute, and this month has looked pretty promising while Sandoval has continued to struggle since returning from the disabled list.

- Andres Torres has been pressing too much and Bochy acknowledged that as the reason why Rowand has been seeing more starts. While it hasn't been said much, 2010 is starting to look more and more like a career year. No one in that front office knew what to expect from Torres.

- Sergio Romo hyper-extended his knee after recording his one out tonight, but he said he should be ready to go tomorrow. It could be more serious and open up a spot for Zito in his return, but I doubt it.

- I posed the question to myself earlier about Brandon Crawford, asking how low his average would get before Bochy was forced to give up on him. After thinking about it, I'd have to say pretty low, with the options Bochy currently has. I asked the question based on the idea that great defense is needed, but to what sacrafice of offense? Bill Hall should be at 2B because of his plus power potential, and the fact that he's no worse a hitter in terms of average than Manny Burriss, or in defense. Miguel Tejada is currently hitting better than Crawford, but outside of 3B, Tejada is far from decent defensively, so at this point, Bochy's choices seem to be limited to Crawford, Crawford, and Crawford at SS. 

Giants Blurbs

By Vince Cestone

Barry Zito is likely to return to the hill when the Giants play a double header in Chicago. Ryan Vogelsong took a perfect game into the fifth inning, only to be broken up by Michael Cuddyer. Brian Wilson's last appearance was a week ago in Arizona. Tomorrow, the Giants' Tim Lincecum (5-6, 3.39 ERA) will take on Brian Duensing (4-6, 4.82 ERA) in a 12:45 p.m. matinee.

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