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."

Cubs, Indians name starting pitchers for Game 1 of World Series


Cubs, Indians name starting pitchers for Game 1 of World Series

World Series ace Jon Lester is all set to start Game 1 for the Chicago Cubs.

Lester will be fully rested when he pitches Tuesday night at Cleveland. Corey Kluber will start for the Indians.

The 32-year-old lefty is 2-0 in three starts during this postseason, with wins over the Giants and Dodgers in the NL playoffs. He was 19-5 during the regular season.

Lester is 3-0 in three starts in the World Series with a sparkling 0.43 ERA. He helped the Boston Red Sox win championships in 2007 and 2013.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon says Lester is "really, really in the moment" right now.


Indians ace Corey Kluber will start Game 1 of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs.

Manager Terry Francona said Sunday that he will go with Kluber, an 18-ame winner during the regular season, in the opener on Tuesday night. The right-hander is 2-1 with a 0.98 ERA in his first postseason.

Francona has right-handers Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin penciled in for Games 2 and 3, respectively. The order could change depending on how Bauer's injured right pinkie heals over the next few days.

Bauer's start in the AL Championship Series lasted less than one inning after his pinkie began bleeding against Toronto. He injured his finger when he sliced it open while repairing a drone.

Also, injured starter Danny Salazar could be available against the Cubs. Salazar hasn't pitched since Sept. 9 because of forearm tightness but he's made major progress in the past week and could be on the World Series roster.

How Cubs beat Kershaw to move on to World Series

How Cubs beat Kershaw to move on to World Series

Two quick runs off the best pitcher on the planet on Saturday night afforded the Cubs exactly what they needed to snap a 71-year-old drought.

Already confident after consecutive offensive outbursts in the previous two games, a two-run first inning against Clayton Kershaw had Cubs hitters in a positive frame of mind.

They rode the surprising rally and a dominant performance by Kyle Hendricks to a 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. The win earned the Cubs their first NL pennant since 1945 and on Tuesday night they’ll seek their first World Series title since 1908 when they face the Cleveland Indians in Game 1.

“It’s huge for the confidence, the positive momentum from LA, to carry over back home,” left fielder Ben Zobrist said. “Those were the biggest moments in the game early on to help everybody keep pushing and that we got this thing -- that we’re in charge of the game early. That’s a huge momentum builder.”

The Cubs did a little bit of everything in the first inning against Kershaw, who dominated them for seven scoreless frames in a 1-0 Dodgers victory in Game 2 on Sunday night. Some hitters took a more aggressive approach against the three-time NL Cy Young winner while others remained patient. The one constant throughout the 30-pitch frame was that Cubs hitters took advantage whenever Kershaw made a mistake.