Game 2 pitching matchups: Vogelsong vs. Carpenter


Game 2 pitching matchups: Vogelsong vs. Carpenter

SAN FRANCISCO When the Giants needed to run the three-game table in Cincinnati, they sent the perfect, pugnacious pitcher to the mound to start their improbable task.The Giants need just as much fight from Ryan Vogelsong now.After dropping Game 1 of the NLCS to the St. Louis Cardinals, the Giants need a win behind Vogelsong on Monday to split these first two games at home and reduce the series to a best-of-5 proposition.Vogelsong is coming off a determined start in which he held the Reds to a run in five innings, but he couldnt go deeper because of a pitch count that reached 95. Because Vogelsong has a stand-and-fight mentality, hell run deep counts to get the result he wants. The Cardinals are a feisty, deep and patient group, too. So Vogelsong will be hard pressed to work efficiently.EXTRA BAGGS: Vogelsong hears from an old friend before NLDS, etc.
The Giants could use length from a starting pitcher, though. The rotation, the supposed strength of the team, has recorded a grand total of two outs beyond the fifth inning in six postseason games.Vogelsong had a tremendous outing in his only start this season against the Cardinals, holding them to three hits and three walks while striking out three in seven shutout innings of a 15-0 victory on Aug. 8. The right-hander led the NL with a 2.27 ERA after that start, but then a run of rough outings took him off the leaderboard.Vogelsong doesnt have much history against most Cardinals hitters, with the exception of Carlos Beltran who is 4 for 11 with two doubles and a homer.Unlike Madison Bumgarner, who refuses to use a slide step, Vogelsong holds runners exceptionally well. They stole just 10 bases in 19 attempts against him.Vogelsong opposes Chris Carpenter, who has his own comeback story to tell. The right-hander was the winning pitcher in Game 7 of the World Series last season but didnt take the mound again until Sept. 21 because of shoulder and neck pain.After several months of rehab, Carpenter underwent an odd procedure that is growing in popularity among major league pitchers: he had a rib removed to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome, in which nerve canals are compressed as they exit the trunk.Carpenter was 0-2 with a 3.71 ERA in three regular-season starts, then came up huge in his first postseason outing on Wednesday. He held the Washington Nationals to seven hits in 5 23 scoreless innings. It was the first time all season he exceeded 100 pitches, and he probably wont be allowed to throw many more than that against the Giants.STATS: St. Louis Cardinals full roster
There arent many Giants who have hit Carpenter well over his career, although Ryan Theriot is 7 for 15 against him. Hunter Pence has the most experience but is just a .182 hitter (4 for 22) with a home run and a triple.Theres a good chance the team that scores first will win. Both bullpens combined to give up just one hit over 10 23 innings in Game 1.

Familiar faces trying to find success, health with Giants' Triple-A affiliate


Familiar faces trying to find success, health with Giants' Triple-A affiliate

SACRAMENTO -- A young man named Clayton Blackburn walked into the home clubhouse at Raley Field on Tuesday decked out in Round Rock gear. 

"You're here for my start?" he said, smiling.

Sorry, Clayton, I was on Panda Watch for two days. But it was fun watching Blackburn, DFA’d in a weird move earlier this year, face former teammates. Blackburn hasn't had a great season with Texas, but he is still just 24 and he has gotten into terrific shape. Given what happened during his call-up last year, you should root for him to get a second chance. 

Blackburn gave up three runs over six innings against his former team. The River Cats won on Jarrett Parker’s walk-off homer to dead center with two outs in the ninth. Parker was one of many familiar faces in the lineup Tuesday. Here are some thoughts on guys you know, and guys you will: 

--- Trevor Brown is the backup catcher in Sacramento, which is certainly a fall from his run as Buster Posey's backup. Brown is batting .168 in what has been a very frustrating season for him. The groin injury that slowed him early lingered, he had a concussion, and he hasn't been able to find any BABIP luck. This year seems a lost one for a guy who was a big part of 2016. I’m still intrigued by his versatility.

--- Chris Shaw is the latest podcast guest. You can stream it here. We talked about his power, his move to left, thinking he was a Ray, and more. I didn't see many at-bats, but I saw enough in left field to be confident he'll be fine out there. 

--- Parker started in center field and made a nice running catch at the wall. He wouldn't hold up as a big league center fielder, but perhaps the Giants should throw him out there a few times down the stretch to see if he can be a backup option next season. Parker said he finally found his swing over the past few games. His rehab assignment ends in about a week, and he’s expected back in San Francisco. 

--- Reyes Moronta, who spent a day in the majors in May, was promoted to Triple-A. In his first inning, Drew Stubbs took him deep. I found that quirky. It's been a long season with far too many transactions. 

--- If Steven Duggar would stay healthy, he would probably make it up to SF in September. Unfortunately, his hamstring was tight again this week, keeping him out of San Jose’s lineup for a few days. Speaking of health: Tyler Beede’s groin injury will keep him out longer than just the standard DL time … Melvin Upton Jr. is still in Sacramento rehabbing a shoulder injury, but he’s not throwing yet so it’s hard to picture him making any noise before September call-up time …Christian Arroyo is in Arizona rehabbing from hand surgery. 

--- Derek Law was smiling because Derek Law is always smiling. He has a 4.32 ERA but said he feels much better than those results. “My slider is back,” Law said. He should be, too, when the Giants expand their roster. There are some other interesting relievers in Sacramento. A first baseman told me opposing hitters grumble about facing D.J. Snelten (1.84 ERA) and Tyler Rogers has a 1.94 ERA as a dirt-scraping right-hander. 

--- A teammate predicted Carlos Moncrief would hit .270 in the big leagues if called up, and he ended up getting that call Wednesday morning. Moncrief is a fun clubhouse addition. He gave Sandoval some good-natured heckling for talking to reporters after going 1 for 4. 

--- The Giants have had a lot of veterans visit San Jose this season. They all bought the postgame spread, but word around the block is that Madison Bumgarner provided the best meal. He had steak and lobster delivered to San Jose Muni. 

Eduardo Nunez 'forever grateful' for his time spent with the Giants

Eduardo Nunez 'forever grateful' for his time spent with the Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — Eduardo Nuñez left San Francisco in a strange way. The third baseman was traded in the middle of Tuesday night’s game and mostly said his goodbyes in a stairwell behind the home dugout at AT&T Park. Before joining the Red Sox, Nuñez took to his social media pages to send a message to the Giants and their fans. 

On Twitter, Nuñez thanked the organization for “the great opportunity and experiences learned” and wished the team the best of luck. His Instagram message was a bit longer. 

“I will be forever grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this amazing team,” Nuñez wrote. “I value the experiences learned during my time here and I will miss my teammates, the fans, and the beautiful city of San Francisco very much. Best wishes to the Giants organization during the rest of this season. God Bless.”

Nuñez is expected to join the Red Sox on Friday. Boston’s manager, John Farrell, told reporters that his new infielder will get “a high number of at-bats” despite the presence of top prospect Rafael Devers. 

"This is someone who's swinging the bat very well right now,” Farrell said, according to "A high energy player that can run the bases well. He’s got really good line drive power so his .300-plus batting average to mix into this lineup is a good addition."