Rewind: Vogelsong, Giants start August in best possible way

Rewind: Vogelsong, Giants start August in best possible way
August 1, 2014, 8:00 pm
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Ryan Vogelsong needed just 102 pitches to finish off the Mets for his first career nine-inning complete game. (AP)

Programming note: Giants-Mets coverage starts Saturday at 3:30 p.m. with Giants Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

Ryan Vogelsong was sucking air after scoring from first base in the eighth inning Friday night.

But he hadn’t thrown a nine-inning complete game in his career, and his pitch count was beyond manageable. So he avoided the inquiry of coaches in the dugout and sought to catch his second wind on the mound.

He did. Perhaps the Giants can catch theirs in August as well.

[INSTANT REPLAY: Giants support Vogelsong, beat Mets 5-1]

Vogelsong got the Giants off to the best possible start both in August and on a 10-game road trip, holding the Mets to two hits while going the distance on 101 pitches in a 5-1 victory at Citi Field.

It was Vogelsong’s second career complete game, but the other one came in a rain-shortened, six-inning start at Wrigley Field in 2011.

Vogelsong allowed a solo home run to Lucas Duda in the eighth but took advantage of some rare run support to snap a six-start winless streak. Now the Giants will turn to Jake Peavy to keep the momentum going.

Matt Duffy collected his first big league hit, and just like Andrew Susac a few days ago, it was an RBI single. Perhaps Jarrett Parker can do the same if he gets a crack in the lineup against Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom on Saturday.

Duffy didn't look nervous. He certainly handled himself well in the field while turning a double play and snagging a line drive. With a .398 on-base percentage over three minor league seasons, perhaps Duffy can keep the line moving, as Bruce Bochy likes to say.

The Giants didn’t get anything at the non-waiver trade deadline other than perhaps an admonition from GM Brian Sabean, who flat-out questioned just how good the team really was after going 7-21 at home since June 9.

The players could have slumped away and become self-fulfilling prophecies. But Vogelsong set a fighting tone – just as he did in Game 3 at Cincinnati in that 2012 NL Division Series that began a long and improbable stave-off-elimination trek to the World Series.

It’ll be the rotation once again that holds the key as the Giants try to get back in the NL West race and hold off their many challengers for two wild card entries. With Matt Cain likely headed for season-ending surgery, that rotation absolutely needs to catch that second wind – just as Vogelsong did Friday night.

Earlier in the week, Vogelsong told me he wasn’t happy with a haircut he got, and the efforts to undo the damage were only moderately successful.

Great. Now he’s got to have a bad haircut to go along with his chicken enchiladas before every start. Whatever works, right?

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