Urban: Giants' Vogelsong redefining 'quality start'


Urban: Giants' Vogelsong redefining 'quality start'

June 22, 2011


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Mychael Urban

Ryan Vogelsong went seven innings and allowed one run Wednesday -- baffling the Twins, ending the Giants' longest losing streak of the season, and lowering his ERA to 1.23 over his past nine games.Now that's a quality start.Enough of this six inningsthree runs business. Do that for a season and you've got a 4.50 ERA that likely leaves you right around the league average.In what world is "quality" the equivalent of "average"?So before we cycle back to Vogelsong, new rule: In order to be credited with a "quality start," you've got to do one of two things. Go at least seven innings and give up no more than three earned runs, or go at least six innings and allow no more than two.Got it, Vogey?Oh, wait. That rule doesn't really change much for you, does it?No, it doesn't. Vogelsong, whose riches-to-rags-to-riches story just keeps getting better, has been locked into this new definition of a quality start for quite some time. Wednesday's ork was typical of this torrid streak the Giants are enjoying out of him.
RECAP: Battery leads Giants to 5-1 victory over Twins
Seven innings, four hits, one walk, and one awfully tough earned run that was registered as unearned for about an hour in the box score -- and will register as earned in the minds of many exactly never.The run scored when rookie shortstop Brandon Crawford, who had made an error in the sixth, booted a grounder by Tsuyoshi Nishioka, a very fast left-handed hitter, with two out in the seventh. It was ruled Crawford's second error, so the run was unearned. Until after the game.The official scorer changed his mind on the play after speaking with Crawford in the clubhouse. The kid said he was going to throw to first. The scorer decided Nishioka's speed would have trumped Crawford's arm had the play been made cleanly, so Nishioka ends up with an infield single, Crawford one less error, Vogelsong one more earned run.Without that run, Vogelsong's ERA would be 1.08 over his past nine starts, 1.73 on the year.GIANTS INSIDER GALLERY: Vogelsong, Whiteside heroes
Credit the official scorer for due diligence, but hey, if you want to curry favor with the Japanese media, don't do it at the expense of Vogelsong's All-Star cause, pal.Kidding. Sorta.Doesn't really matter. That's nine consecutive starts of at least six innings and no more than two earned runs allowed for Vogelsong.
In seven of those starts, he's allowed less than two.
In three of them -- four if you want to thumb your nose at Wednesday's phantom earnie -- he hasn't allowed any earned runs.Again, that's true quality, and the next time Vogelsong starts he'll likely reach the number of innings needed to qualify for the major league lead in ERA. He's at 1.86 now, and you know what that is?Barring a collapse of some sort, that's an All-Star. Scoring be damned.

Wondolowski's PK in stoppage time helps Earthquakes draw with Union


Wondolowski's PK in stoppage time helps Earthquakes draw with Union


SAN JOSE -- Chris Wondolowski scored on a penalty kick in stoppage time to give the San Jose Earthquakes a 2-2 tie with the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night.

Shea Salinas drew a foul on Joshua Yaro in the penalty area to set up the penalty kick in the 95th minute. With his 10th goal, Wondolowski became the first player in MLS history with eight straight double-digit seasons.

Roland Alberg scored in the 55th to put Philadelphia (8-11-6) up 2-1.

Valeri Qazaishvili scored three minutes for San Joe (9-10-6). He eluded two defenders before punching it between two more defenders.

Jack Elliott tied it in the 35th with his first goal of the season, knocking the ball in on the left side of the net.

As legal process unfolds, Raiders CB Sean Smith continues to battle for playing time

As legal process unfolds, Raiders CB Sean Smith continues to battle for playing time

OAKLAND – Raiders cornerback Sean Smith had a rough week. He’s losing grip on a starting spot, but that concern pales in comparison to mounting legal issues that put him in a Los Angeles County jail Thursday morning.

He was formally charged with felony assault and battery for beating his sister’s boyfriend on July 4 in his hometown of Pasadena, surrendered to authorities and was released on an $80,000 bond.

He was back in the East Bay to play Saturday’s exhibition against the Los Angeles Rams, where he was a third cornerback entering in sub packages. Smith had two tackles and a nice pass defensed in the end zone.

Smith’s legal issues shouldn’t stop him from playing and practicing with the team in the near future. He has an arraignment sent for Sept. 29, where will plead not guilty and fight the charges levied against him.

“We’ll let him battle what issues he has legally,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “I don’t have much to add to it. You hear the story of him defending his sister, and things occurred that have been taken issue with, so he's having to defend himself right now.”

An NFL spokesman said the league is looking into the matter, but didn’t have further comment at this time. It’s possible the league could place Smith on the commissioner’s exemption list, an option for players charged with violent offenses. He would essentially go on paid leave if that were the case. Smith will make $9.5 million in guaranteed money this season.

Smith will battle TJ Carrie and first-round cornerback Gareon Conley – he remains on the PUP list with a shin injury – for playing time in the Raiders defense. He practiced better last week, but must show consistency to get back in the team’s good graces.