Vogelsong: 'I'm costing us games right now'


Vogelsong: 'I'm costing us games right now'

DENVER You can point to Ryan Vogelsongs velocity or hisstuff or his flared nostrils on the mound and say that nothing has changed.

But the ERA tells another story. And so do the results onthe scoreboard.

Vogelsong gave up enough hard contact to lose to theColorado Rockies for the first time in his career Monday night, yielding fourruns in five innings as the Giants dropped a 6-5 defeat at Coors Field.

He has a 9.57 ERA over his last six starts.

Others are perplexed. Vogelsong is angry.

Cue those flared nostrils.

Im costing us games right now and Im not really happyabout it, said Vogelsong, who has tumbled from first to 13 in the NL among ERAleaders over that six-start span. I feel today it was on the arm side. Lasttime, it was on the glove side. Its like I fix one and the other goes haywire.I need to get back to the middle of the road here.

His fastball location is erratic. His confidence is less so.

Yeah, Im fine, he said. Im a battler, guys. Look whatIve been through. A couple bad starts in a span of six is not going to get medown. Ive been through way too much in this game to let six not good startskeep me from where I want to get with this team.

The team remains in a good place, even though they lost ahalf-game off their NL West lead and now hold a five-game advantage over theLos Angeles Dodgers with 21 to play.

Its hard to imagine the Giants tanking the division unlessthe rotation implodes down the stretch. They certainly have their share ofquestion marks in Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum, and its reasonable to think theinnings might be wearing down Madison Bumgarner and Vogelsong to some extent.

Its worth noting that Vogelsong slipped a bit down thestretch last year, too. There was nothing wrong with his 3.26 ERA after theAll-Star Game in his breakthrough season. But it was a full run more than the2.19 ERA he posted before the break to make the All-Star squad despite asix-year absence from the major leagues.

The characteristic cut and run on Vogelsongs fastballhasnt been there as consistently. He paid for straight fastballs on all threehits he allowed in the Rockies two-run first inning. Another 1-2 heater downthe middle missed its target and pitcher Alex White jumped on it for a solohome run in the second inning.

Is the difference mental, mechanical, repetition?

All that, he said.

It doesnt sound like catcher Buster Posey will be able tooffer much insight beyond that.

I dont know. Im kind of at a loss, really, Posey said.The stuff is there, velocity is there. Hes throwing the ball as well as ever,I feel like.

Theres as much frustration probably for me as for him. Aguy like him, as hard as he works, you want him to have success every timeout.

Bochy said his 35-year-old right-hander will have successagain.

Hes feeling good, hes healthy. Thats the key, Bochysaid. Hes one of our guys and hell be out there. We have all the confidencein the world in him. Hes done an unbelievable job. I think Vogey is going tobe just fine.

The Giants have a day off Thursday and another Sept. 24. Buteven if they felt Vogelsong could benefit from being pushed back so he couldmix in a bonus bullpen session or recharge his batteries, their other fourstarters need the rest just as badly. So as long as everyone remains reasonablyhealthy, expect the Giants to keep continuity.

At least Vogelsong appeared to emerge with no significantdamage from a line drive off his right shin. He wore a wrap over his leg andsaid it was sore.

Bochy wasnt too concerned when the line drive hitVogelsong. As the trainer rushed to attend to the pitcher in the second inning,the manager bypassed the mound and went straight to argue a call at first base.

Yeah, yeah, Ive got to apologize to him for that, Bochysaid, smiling. I was trying to get the call for him."

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster


Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

LOS ANGELES — Shortstop Corey Seager has been left off the Los Angeles Dodgers' roster for the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs.

The Dodgers announced Seager's surprise omission due to a back injury on Saturday, several hours before Game 1 at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles also dropped reliever Pedro Baez from its roster. Infielder Charlie Culberson and outfielder Joc Pederson were added.

Chicago made only one change from the last playoff round, adding reliever Hector Rondon and removing reliever Justin Wilson.

Seager complained of back soreness during the Dodgers' NL Division Series clincher in Arizona on Monday, and 2016 NL Rookie of the Year didn't participate in team workouts this week. Still, manager Dave Roberts said Friday that he was very optimistic that Seager would play in the NLCS.

Seager was an All-Star selection this season while batting .295 with 22 homers and 77 RBIs as a key part of the top of the Dodgers' lineup.

Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Culberson all worked out at shortstop Friday for the Dodgers. The versatile Taylor was the Dodgers' center fielder during the NLDS, but he made 96 appearances in the outfield this season and 44 in the infield, including 14 games at shortstop.

Pederson is batting .071 with no homers since July, but the Dodgers could need him in center field if Taylor plays shortstop.

Culberson famously homered to clinch the Dodgers' NL West title in announcer Vin Scully's final home game last season, but the infielder spent most of this season at Triple-A, appearing in only 14 games for the Dodgers.

Rondon was the Cubs' closer in 2014 and 2015, but moved to a setup role last season after Aroldis Chapman's arrival. He appeared in 61 regular-season games this year, going 4-1 with a 4.24 ERA in an up-and-down campaign.

Chicago acquired Wilson in a trade with Detroit on July 31, adding a veteran left-handed reliever who had 13 saves for the Tigers this season. The Southern California native wasn't great in his two months with the Cubs, posting a 5.09 ERA with 19 walks in 23 appearances.

Manager Joe Maddon chose Wilson for the NLDS over Rondon, only to switch it up against the Dodgers.

Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure


Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure

Bruce Bochy's minor offseason heart procedure went as planned, the team announced Friday afternoon. 

In a message passed along to beat reporters, Bochy said "the procedure went extremely well and I'm feeling better. I'm grateful for the doctors and want to thank everyone who has reached out with well wishes."

Bochy, 62, had an ablation procedure to help him deal with heart issues that have plagued him in recent years. The operation was his second of the year, but it was considered minor enough that it could be pushed back to the end of the season.

Cleveland's Terry Francona had a similar procedure this year and returned to manage, and Bochy has left no doubt about his future. 

“I don’t want anyone to think this has an effect on my work, or ability to work,” Bochy said last week. “This is something that is not uncommon.”