Giants

Jay on Vogelsong: 'He was able to work us'

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Jay on Vogelsong: 'He was able to work us'

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SAN FRANCISCO The Giants, so dependent on their startingpitchers all season long, advanced to the National League Championship Serieswithout any member of their rotation finishing the sixth inning of a playoffstart.In Game 1 against the St. Louis Cardinals, Madison Bumgarner didnothing to dispel the notion that the Giants playoff rotation was in shambles.Consider that notion dispelled, thanks to one Ryan Andrew Vogelsong.The Giants well-traveled right-hander allowed just one run in seven innings inGame 2 and ensured that the team charter to St. Louis will be a little morelively than the one to Cincinnati last week. Vogelsong entered Game 2 with an ugly 6.83 lifetime ERA against the Cardinals, but thatincludes some rough outings before his career resurgence. Since 2011, Vogelsonghad allowed just one run in 12 innings against St. Louis, including sevenshutout innings on August 8 this season.Vogelsong was no stranger to the Cardinals hitters, but hebaffled them at first with a lively fastball and later with his off-speedstuff.He pitched really well, said Cardinals leftfielder MattHolliday, who had one of St. Louis four hits off Vogelsong. Hes tough whenhes locating his fastball. Hes got a little extra giddy up on his fastball thatsometimes is hard to adjust to.David Freese, who entered Game 2 batting .500 in sevencareer NLCS games, was held hitless Monday after crushing a two-run homer in theseries opener.Their guytonight was spot on. He threw everything where he wanted to. Him and Buster Poseywere working well. We just couldnt find holes, we couldnt put good swings onhis pitches and thats what they wanted.Another hitless Cardinal, centerfielder Jon Jay, saidVogelsong cruised because of count leverage, something he struggled with whenhe posted a 6.75 ERA over his final 10 regular season starts.He was ahead in the count and he didnt give us too manyhitters counts, Jay said. When a pitcher does that, theyre usually prettysuccessful. So he was able to work us pretty good tonight.Cardinals manager Mike Matheny agreed with Jays assessment.He controlled the counts. He uses off-speed well. Hes got good stuff. Andwhen you have good stuff and you execute in the zone and you expand it when youwant to, good things are going to happen for you He just kept our guys offbalance and thats the key to pitching. Hitting is timing and pitching isbreaking up hitters timing.The Giants will start Matt Cain in Game 3 but have yet to announce their planfor Games 4 and 5. With Madison Bumgarner running on fumes, Barry Zitoregressing and Tim Lincecum's role undefined currently, Bruce Bochy wouldhave to turn back to Vogelsong if the series goes to a sixth game. Mathenyknows that if his team sees Vogelsong again, adjustments will be required.Were going to have to do something different if we see himagain, Matheny said.The Giants hope that wont be necessary and that the World Series will be thestage for Vogelsongs next start and chapter in his Cinderella story of acareer.

Doing due diligence, Giants send Evans, Shelley to scout Shohei Otani in Japan

Doing due diligence, Giants send Evans, Shelley to scout Shohei Otani in Japan

SAN FRANCISCO — A couple of weeks ago, a Giants official expressed amazement about how little was known about the desires of Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani.

“Teams know just about as much as you guys (in the media),” he said. 

The Giants are hoping that changes this week. General manager Bobby Evans and assistant GM Jeremy Shelley have traveled to Japan to take a look at the 23-year-old, who reportedly will come over to play in Major League Baseball next season. 

“There’s going to be a lot of attention on him and it’s part of the scouting process every club goes through,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s doing our due diligence, as you say.”

Otani is a rare prospect, a potential ace on the mound and lineup-altering bat in the outfield. He has 47 homers in just over 1,000 professional at-bats, and this season he’s batting .341. As a hard-throwing pitcher with a wipeout breaking ball, Otani has a 2.57 career ERA for the Nippon Ham Fighters. He had a 1.86 ERA last season with 174 strikeouts in 140 innings. 

Because he’s said to be coming over at such a young age, Otani will sacrifice the chance to sign a massive contract. The CBA limits him to collecting money from a team’s international bonus pool, and the Giants are limited to $300,000. Still, some other big-market teams are in the same boat, and despite their lack of pool money and poor season, the Giants surely believe they have plenty to offer. 

It’s not known what Otani is looking for, but perhaps he wants to play in a big city to make up some of his lost earnings? Perhaps he wants to play on the West Coast, closer to his home country, or in a region with a big Japanese population? Perhaps he’s just a big Buster Posey fan? The Giants intend to find out, and to be in the bidding. 

It’s possible that Otani has seen the way Bochy uses Madison Bumgarner as a pinch-hitter, but Bochy said he can’t imagine using a true two-way player. 

“I don’t think it would work,” he said. “You’re talking more of something that might work in the American League. That’s a lot of throwing and wear-and-tear.”

Giants lineup: Sandoval shifts to third, Hundley catching Moore vs Rockies

Giants lineup: Sandoval shifts to third, Hundley catching Moore vs Rockies

After playing first base the last three game, Pablo Sandoval is manning third base against the Rockies on Tuesday.

Colorado Rockies:
1. Charlie Blackmon (L) CF
2. DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
3. Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
4. Trevor Story (R) SS
5. Ian Desmond (R) LF
6. Gerardo Parra (L) RF
7. Mark Reynolds (R) 1B
8. Jonathan Lucroy (R) C
9. Tyler Chatwood (R) RHP

San Francisco Giants:
1. Hunter Pence (R) RF
2. Joe Panik (L) 2B
3. Denard Span (L) CF
4. Buster Posey (R) 1B
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
7. Jarrett Parker (L) LF
8. Nick Hundley (R) C
9. Matt Moore (L) LHP