SAN DIEGO Ryan Vogelsong kept saying he wouldnt besatisfied until he improved on his breakout season in 2011.
His rough, seven-start run prevented him from contending foran ERA title. But Vogelsong did manage to win his 14th game Fridaynight one more than he won a year ago.
Pitcher wins are flawed metrics. They arevariable-dependent. Theyve lost meaning to most people who observe, dissectand evaluate the game.
At this point, I just wanted to carry my last start intothis start and stay on a good roll going into the postseason, Vogelsong said.
Long, long, long pause.
Ill take it, though, he added, smiling.
Vogelsong is adding food for thought as the Giants continueto shoot around playoff rotation possibilities. Over his last two outings, hehas held the San Diego Padres to one earned run in six innings.
Sure, thePadres are not the Washington Nationals or Cincinnati Reds. And if Vogelsongstarts for the Giants in an NL Division Series game, hell almost certainly bepitching on the road in a venue quite a bit more confining than Petco Park.
But for the second start in a row, he had crisper stuff andhe found ways to escape jams. The first two innings, he struggled with a moundthat didnt seem to match the one in the bullpen. Once he settled in, he keptthe ball off the barrel.
Vogelsong has much more experience in relief than Barry Zito, who is routine oriented, or Tim Lincecum, who gets ready in a hurry but has really struggled in the first inning. So it's still the most likely scenario that Vogelsong will be used to back up those two pitchers, allowing manager Bruce Bochy to keep a shorter leash on them if they get into trouble.
But did Vogelsong's last two starts change the postseason rotationconversation?
Weve always had all the confidence in the world in Vogey,even during his tough times, said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, displaying adeft soft-shoe. These last two starts hes been on track and its the Vogey weknow.
Bochy also mentioned how well Zito has pitched and how itsnice to have the guys where theyre at to make these decisions more hard tomake.
The manager did not mention Tim Lincecum, either because hisplace in a postseason rotation is not presumed to be in jeopardy or becauseBochy didnt want to send up that signal flare as a possibility.
Either way, Lincecums start on Sunday here will be a very, verybig deal whether he gets the win or not
I didnt get the chance to speak with Marco Scutaro afterthe game. He was taken out in the fourth inning because of head and chestcongestion, and Bochy said he was too sick to continue. We should know moretomorrow.
If you follow GameCast on MLB.com, you probably saw that Scutaro left the game with what was described as a "head injury." That's not true, unless he sneezed and hit his head on the recoil
Sergio Romo was a curious sight in his gray sweatshirt duringthe ninth inning. Not only did Bochy bypass Romo to use Santiago Casilla, buthe had Guillermo Mota get warm when Casilla allowed the tying runs to reach ona pair of singles.
But Casilla got out of the jam to save the 3-1 victory, andBochy said nothing was wrong with Romo. He just wanted to give his primaryright-handed closer the night off after throwing 21 pitches a night earlier.(Romo has exceeded 21 pitches on just two other occasions this season.)
Casilla will be off Saturday, Bochy said.
I cannot believe I missed rookie dress-up day. The Giants skippedthe annual hazing tradition last year, which tells you a lot about the state ofthat clubhouse down the stretch as they failed to reach the playoffs to defendtheir World Series championship.
That meant double the hazees this time around, and JavierLopez found head-to-toe Lycra body suits in all different shades. (Nice touchgiving Northwestern purple to George Kontos.)
Brandon Belt told me today that the rookies didnt just haveto wear the suits on the bus and the plane and into the hotel lobby when theyarrived in San Diego Thursday night. The veterans paraded the rookies down the streets of theGaslamp District, too.
My favorite anecdote: The Mercs Alex Pavlovic overheardMatt Cain, upon discovering Jean Machi putting styling gel in his hair. Nonecesito, Cain yelled at him.