Giants

Ryan Vogelsong: 'That's as locked in as I've ever been'

vogelsong-ryan-face-nlcs.jpg
AP

Ryan Vogelsong: 'That's as locked in as I've ever been'

Prior to Game 6 of the 2012 NLCS, Metallica's James Hetfield took the microphone and addressed the crowd at AT&T Park.

"San Francisco -- are you as excited as I am today? Are you ready to kick some Cardinals ass? This is do-or-die for us friends and San Franciscans do not die easy, right?

"We're going to show the world how we do it; how the San Francisco Giants fans do it here. Are you with me? Are you with me? San Francisco -- let's play ball." 

On Thursday morning, Ryan Vogelsong talked about that moment.

"I don't think I throw like that in the first inning if he doesn't say that," Vogelsong said on KNBR 680. "I'm down there warming up and I feel really good. And I know I feel really good. And I'm trying to back myself down in the bullpen because I'm like 'save some bullets.' But I want to get the edge off so that I can throw strikes.

"Well, then at the end of my warmup, he does that. And now I'm just getting ready to fly off the mound. I'm walking down and I look at Rags (pitching coach Dave Righetti) and I'm like, 'I gotta calm myself down.' That's the first time I've ever been on a major league field where I had to tell myself to calm down; back it off, you know?

"That totally set the stage for the night for me. But it just so happened that that's as locked in as I've ever been."

Vogelsong's stat line: 7 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts.

And most importantly -- the win.

On Monday, the Giants announced that Ryan Vogelsong will officially retire as a Giant.

There will be some kind of ceremony before the game this Sunday against the Diamondbacks.

"I got a little bit of the scoop but I'm not gonna be the one to spill the beans," Vogelsong said. "You're gonna have to get that out of somebody else."

Dodgers crush Cubs in Game 5 to reach 2017 World Series

dodgerswin-ap.jpg
USATSI

Dodgers crush Cubs in Game 5 to reach 2017 World Series

BOX SCORE

CHICAGO -- Enrique Hernandez put a Hollywood ending on an LA story three decades in the making.

Fueled by Hernandez's home run trilogy, Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers are finally going to the World Series.

Hernandez homered three times and drove in seven runs, Kershaw breezed through six crisp innings and Los Angeles ended the Chicago Cubs' title defense with an 11-1 victory in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series on Thursday night.

"It feels good to hear World Series," Kershaw said. "It's been a long time coming for this team."

After years of playoff heartache, there was just no stopping this group of Dodgers. With Kershaw firing away at the top of a deep pitching staff and Justin Turner anchoring a tough lineup, one of baseball's most storied franchises captured its first pennant since Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda managed Los Angeles to its last championship in 1988.

The Dodgers will host the New York Yankees or Houston Astros in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night. The Yankees have a 3-2 lead in the ALCS heading into Game 6 at Houston on Friday night, so one more New York win would set up another chapter in an old October rivalry between the Yankees and Dodgers.

The Dodgers made the playoffs eight times in the previous 13 seasons and came up short each time, often with Kershaw shouldering much of the blame. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner took the loss when Los Angeles was eliminated by the Cubs in Game 6 of last year's NLCS at Wrigley Field.

He was just OK in his first two starts in this year's postseason, but Los Angeles' loaded lineup picked him up each time. Backed by Hernandez's powerful show in Chicago, Kershaw turned in an efficient three-hit performance with five strikeouts in his sixth career playoff win - matching Burt Hooton for the franchise record.

When Kenley Jansen retired Willson Contreras on a liner to shortstop for the final out, the party was on. The Dodgers poured out of the dugout and mobbed their dominant closer near the mound, and a small, but vocal group of Los Angeles fans gathered behind the visitor's dugout and chanted "Let's go Dodgers! Let's go Dodgers!"

Report: Giants interview Chili Davis about becoming new hitting coach

chili-us.jpg
USATSI

Report: Giants interview Chili Davis about becoming new hitting coach

Chili Davis spent the first seven years of his big league career with the Giants where he made two All-Star teams and hit 101 home runs. 

Fast forward 37 years from his debut in 1981, and Davis may now be the one teaching Giants how to hit balls over the wall in 2018. The Giants met with Davis Thursday about becoming the team's new hitting coach, according to The Mercury News

The only problem is, there is no open vacancy on the Giants' coaching staff. 

Current hitting coach Hensley Meulens is a candidate for the Tigers' head coaching vacancy, but reports surfaced Thursday that former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire will take that role. Meulens could become a candidate to manage another team or take a different spot on the Giants' staff. 

The Giants' offense sputtered in 2017. Overall, the offense ranked 23rd in batting average (.249), 29th in runs scored (639) and last in home runs (128). By comparison, the Pirates were the next worst team at hitting home runs in 2017 and still launched 23 more long balls than the Giants. 

Over his 19-year career, Davis hit 350 home runs. He has spent the last three years as the Red Sox's hitting instructor.