SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Most pitchers use spring training to ramp up for the intensity of the regular season. Ryan Vogelsong found himself going from the pressure of the World Baseball Classic back to the relaxed rhythms of the Cactus League.
Maybe that’s why he so thoroughly dominated the Milwaukee Brewers over six shutout innings Wednesday, holding them to three hits while striking out seven.
“I try and treat ‘em all the same, honestly,” said Vogelsong, who threw 60 of 82 pitches for strikes. “Just be ready to go when the bell rings.”
Does that mean he had #RallyEnchiladas for dinner the previous night?
“Always,” he said.
Even in the spring?
Putting aside his cholesterol level, Vogelsong looks to be the envy of every major league club – a No.5 starter who could match up against anyone’s ace. Following two strong starts for Team USA, Vogelsong said he likes where he’s at with two more tuneups before he’d make his season debut.
He likes where the rest of the rotation is, too. Vogelsong had a chance to watch Matt Cain’s last start on TV last Friday, as he prepared to take on Puerto Rico in Miami. He saw Madison Bumgarner’s strong outing on Sunday. And he heard about Barry Zito’s encouraging, seven-strikeout effort Tuesday night in Peoria.
[BAGGARLY: It plays out much better for Zito in Peoria]
“And Timmy threw great the other day,” said Vogelsong, in reference to Tim Lincecum. “It does seem that way – seems things are falling into place for all of us.”
The Giants know that they were fortunate to get 160 starts out of their five rotation members last season. No team in history has ever received 30-plus starts from the same five pitchers in consecutive seasons. So the Giants will need to be a bit lucky to do it again.
“Little things happen, you can take a ball off you, stuff like that,” Vogelsong said. “But we have a great training staff and all of us work tremendously hard in between starts.
“I would like to see us do it again, quite honestly.”
Vogelsong still sees room for improvement. His changeup drifted away from him after an inning or two, and he felt he got away with a few mistakes in the zone against Milwaukee’s lineup.
He faced a good test when Caleb Gindl hit a one-out double and took third on a ground out. Vogelsong pitched around No.8 hitter Sean Halton before getting pitcher Chris Narveson to strike out.
“That’s all stuff you need to do here,” Vogelsong said. “It’s all part of getting ready for the season. … It’s just trying to throw quality strikes, really. Not trying to reinvent the wheel.”