Kruk and Kuip: Sanchez heroics not possible without Kieschnick
Ryan Vogelsong's final stat line Thursday: 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 3 K, 92 P, ND (USA TODAY IMAGES)
WASHINGTON – The results have been up and down for Ryan Vogelsong in his two starts since returning from the disabled list.
But his stuff has been fairly consistent. It hasn’t been too crisp.
He might have gotten away with it in his debut against the Baltimore Orioles last week at AT&T Park, but the Washington Nationals proved peskier. They fouled off plenty of two-strike pitches, many of them fastballs in the upper 80s. As a result, Vogelsong threw 92 pitches and only recorded 11 outs – including two on sacrifice attempts.
[INSTANT REPLAY: Sanchez's three-run bomb in ninth saves the day]
Vogelsong said he’s healthy. He’s also frustrated.
“It’s frustrating because I know I’m behind and everybody else is in midseason form,” said Vogelsong, who might have been dealing with World Baseball Classic fatigue when he got hit hard in nine starts before getting hit by a pitch that fractured his pinky May 20.
“That said, I know that, and I need to get the pitches where they need to go. I felt there were more good ones than bad. But I was getting ahead 0-2 and they were fouling them off.”
Vogelsong managed to keep the Giants relatively in the game; he paid for one hanging, two-strike breaking ball that Ian Desmond hit for a two-run double, but otherwise left with the team trailing 3-0 in a game they rallied to win in the ninth.
Bochy said he wasn’t concerned with his right-hander, citing that all pitchers go through spells where their velocity dips. Both he and Vogelsong proclaimed there was nothing physically wrong.
Still, it’s got to be a little disconcerting for the 36-year-old, especially since the Giants are just a few weeks away from having to decide whether to pick up his $6.5 million option.
(GM Brian Sabean has said he plans to pick it up, as long as Vogelsong is healthy to end the year. But there still has to be some concern when you’re the party in question.)
Vogelsong said he just needs to execute better until he gets some life back on his pitches.
“I felt fine. My arm feels fine,” he said. “I feel good playing catch. It’s just not coming out. That’s the situation we’re in. There’s some life on it, but the velocity is just not there.
“I’ve just got to get out there and make better pitches until the velocity comes back.”