With Giants bullpen spent, Vogelsong held in reserve

With Giants bullpen spent, Vogelsong held in reserve
July 23, 2014, 3:15 pm
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Ryan Vogelsong has a 3.99 ERA in 20 appearances this season. (AP)

PHILADELPHIA -– Giants manager Bruce Bochy used nine pitchers who combined to throw 248 times to the plate between Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. And as you might expect, he lacks a full complement in the bullpen for Wednesday night’s rain-threatened game at Citizens Bank Park. 

“Kontos is off, Affeldt’s off … Timmy’s off,” Bochy said.

Thanks to Dave Flemming, we learned that Tim Lincecum got tossed in a laundry cart, wheeled into the shower and doused with beer to celebrate his first career save in the Giants’ 9-6, 14-inning victory over the Phillies. No, he won’t be used on back-to-back days. Not with an important start looming Friday in a home series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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But Bochy is employing the same tactic with Ryan Vogelsong that he used with Lincecum a night earlier.

Like Lincecum, Vogelsong will hold off throwing his usual between-starts session off a bullpen mound. The hope is that Madison Bumgarner will go deep and the Giants will have enough in relief to piece together whatever remains. But if they run out of innings, Vogelsong will have spikes on.

Actually, Vogelsong had spikes on in Tuesday night’s game, too. Bochy would’ve pitched outfielder Tyler Colvin after George Kontos if the Giants hadn’t taken the lead in the 14th inning. In all the hubbub, I forgot to ask Bochy whom he would’ve sent to the outfield, since he was out of position players.

Bochy said it would’ve been Vogelsong in left field. Vogelsong would have alternated places with right fielder Hunter Pence when a right-handed hitter came to bat. Now that would’ve been interesting.

If Vogelsong has to pitch Wednesday night, the Giants likely would make a roster move to bolster the bullpen prior to Thursday afternoon’s series finale here. Bochy acknowledged there’s a better chance a fresh arm could come from Double-A Richmond, which is playing across the state in Erie.

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Closer Hunter Strickland is the only Flying Squirrels pitcher on the Giants’ 40-man roster and has excelled for a 2.49 ERA along with 27 strikeouts and just four walks in 21.2 innings. He recently returned from Tommy John surgery, though, and hasn’t thrown multiple innings in an appearance.

The Giants are shorthanded on the bench as well Wednesday since Joe Panik is unable to play because of a sprained ankle. The good news is that the ankle didn't swell up any more overnight and he should be out just another day or two.

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