Vogelsong MVP of Bay Bridge Series without throwing single pitch


Vogelsong MVP of Bay Bridge Series without throwing single pitch

Who was the MVP of the Bay Bridge Series?

Oddly a guy who didnt even play.

Ryan Vogelsong has arguably been the MVP of the entire Giants season, proving that last years comeback was no fluke. Hes been a steady and dominating presence on the mound a counterpart to old Mr. Reliable Matt Cain which has been crucial, while two-fifths of the starting rotation has floundered. He will pitch Tuesdays second game against the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw, and will bring the confidence of 41,000 to the mound with him.

But Vogelsongs value really showed against Oakland, when he didnt even take the mound.

On Friday night, after Tim Lincecum barely escaped a disastrous first inning, cameras found him talking intensely with Vogelsong in the visiting dugout.

REWIND: Channeling rage key for Lincecum's turnaround

Lincecum had a look of panic in his eyes. He later said he confessed to Vogelsong, I dont know how not to be mad.

And Vogelsong told him, Dont worry. Just know what youre mad about.

Sounds simple, right? But coming from Vogelsong those simple words carried weight.

Vogelsong is the only guy who could have told Lincecum that and had it mean something. Who else could? Not Barry Zito hes the veteran of the staff but his words dont carry credibility because he cant put them into action himself. Not Matt Cain he and Lincecum are the Giants Glimmer Twins, siblings the same age who have grown up together and can support each other but dont have the distance to advise each other. Little brother Madison Bumgarner cant do it hes just trying to figure it out himself for the first time.

RATTO: Lincecum looks 'basket case' dead in eyes, responds

Could Dave Righetti? He had offered Lincecum the same kind of advice as Vogelsong gave. But hearing it from Righetti is like hearing it from a parent granted in Lincecums case it would be a parent who doesnt go off on an over-the-top rant in a national newspaper. But parental advice is always processed differently.

Vogelsong, on the other hand, speaks from experience. Hes been there right where Lincecum is, watching his career and his promise crumble while hes on the mound with the bases loaded. Unable to focus on the next pitch. Unable to channel his emotions and his anger and his angst into throwing the baseball.

For Vogelsong, it wasnt just a matter of a few months. It was years, and he bounced around in the minors, went to Japan, went to winter ball in Venezuela, and finally it clicked. Finally he believed the words he was telling himself.

Vogelsong has lived what he told Lincecum.

His moment in the dugout on Friday night could have been the turning point for Lincecum and for the Giants season. A year ago, Vogelsong was the newcomer, trying to fit in on a World Series team. Now hes the veteran presence, a guy who has seen it all and actually knows what to say.

It wont show up in his W-L record, but it was arguably his biggest outing of the season. Well, until he faces the Dodgers on Tuesday.

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.”