Vogelsong solid in Giants' 5-2 win at PNC Park

Vogelsong solid in Giants' 5-2 win at PNC Park

April 28, 2011
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PITTSBURGH (AP) After almost five years of playing in Japan, Salt Lake, Lehigh Valley and other spots, simply being announced as a starting pitcher in the majors once again was quite the thrill for Ryan Vogelsong."It was a sense of accomplishment for me before the first pitch had even started," he said. "I was fighting it a little bit not to find myself getting too relaxed, you know?"He settled in just fine.Vogelsong won while making his first big league start in almost seven years, pitching effectively into the sixth inning against his former team and leading the San Francisco Giants over the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 Thursday."Thousands of times," Vogelsong said, "I wondered if i was ever going to pitch in the big leagues again, let alone get a chance to be a starter again and win a game."Vogelsong (1-0) made his first start since Sept. 29, 2004, when he was with Pittsburgh. He spent three seasons in Japan after last appearing in a game for the Pirates in June 2006, then spent last season playing for the Triple-A teams of the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Angels.Vogelsong signed a minor league deal with the Giants this past offseason and had his contract purchased from Triple-A Fresno on April 17 when Barry Zito went on the disabled list. Vogelsong had made two relief appearances since, covering 4 2-3 scoreless innings."He came into spring training and he opened eyes up right away," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said "The way he was throwing the ball, he could have easily made our club. We just didn't have a spot for him."He did a great job. I'm happy for him, proud for him, to get a win in his first start."The 33-year-old Vogelsong tied a career high by striking out eight in 5 2-3 innings. He gave up two runs on four hits and two walks.Brian Wilson pitched the ninth for his seventh save. San Francisco had lost five of its previous six.Aaron Rowand had three RBIs and stole home as part of a double steal. He hit a two-run double during the Giants' four-run third.Neil Walker had three hits for the Pirates, who have lost three of their four home series this season."He did a good job of keeping guys off balance," Walker said of Vogelsong. "I was fortunate enough to hit a couple of barrels on him, but for the most part he was down in the zone and threw a lot of good pitches today."After a two-out double by Walker in the first that drove in Lyle Overbay, Vogelsong went through a run of retiring 14 of 16 batters before sixth, during which he was lifted after allowing an RBI groundout by Ryan Doumit.Vogelsong had about 25 family and friends on hand. A native of eastern Pennsylvania, he met his wife in Pittsburgh."It feels really good," Vogelsong said. "That was my main focus today was just to go out there today and put up a good start, give us a chance to start swinging the bats and guys came big through for me today."The Giants rank 13th in the NL in runs and were coming off a shutout loss Wednesday. Their big inning Thursday came while not getting many hard-hit balls during the third off Jeff Karstens (2-1).Mike Fontenot led off with a single and Eli Whiteside followed by getting hit by a pitch. Vogelsong reached when Karstens unsuccessfully tried to get the lead runner on a bunt, loading the bases.That set up Rowand's double just inside the third base bag."It doesn't matter who gets it," Rowand said, "but as a team when you've been struggling to get big hits, it helps everybody take a deep breath, step back and relax."With one out and after an intentional walk, Pablo Sandoval grounded to short, but Pittsburgh was unable to turn a double play, so Vogelsong scored.Rowand made it 4-1 when he came across as part of a double steal with Sandoval. Doumit's throw went into center field on the play - the catcher's poor throw was one of four Pirates errors."We got a couple breaks in the big inning, that's what helped us today," Bochy said. "But it's good to get those breaks and get a big number."When you're not swinging the bat, you try to think of ways you can create runs."The Giants' fifth run came in the seventh, an inning in which Pittsburgh committed two errors.Only two of the five runs charged against Karstens in his 6 2-3 innings were earned."We beat ourselves today, Overbay said. "If we are going to be where we want to be, we can't do that kind of stuff."NOTES: Paid attendance for the three-game series against the reigning World Series champions was 33,357 - although the turnstile count was significantly lower than that. The Pirates haven't drawn as many as 19,000 to a game since the first three games of the season. ... Originally drafted by the Giants, Vogelsong was the primary piece of a trade to get ace Jason Schmidt from Pittsburgh in 2001. ... OF Xavier Paul made his Pittsburgh debut hours after being activated, striking out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth. Paul was claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this week. ... Zito was cleared to put weight on his right foot for the first time in 11 days. He no longer will require crutches or a boot to deal with his foot sprain and could be cleared to resume baseball activity in one to three weeks.

Peterson blasts report over salary demands, outlines main objectives

Peterson blasts report over salary demands, outlines main objectives

Adrian Peterson played defense on Friday night.

Hours after a report suggesting that the four-time All-Pro running back was still a free agent due to salary demands, the former Viking posted a lengthy statement on Instagram along with a video of his running an agility drill.

"YOU CANT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ OR HEAR PEOPLE. The last thing I'm worried about is playing ball this coming season ... that WILL HAPPEN! It's not all about the money as EVERYONE is speculating here lately. You'd THINK these analysts spoke to me directly. When you don't know what's going on people will say anything to create or make a story! How prideful is it for me to put out ... I won't play for anything less than 8 million! But see, when you don't know a person or what they stand for it's easy to paint YOUR OWN PICTURE. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in! Here is something Straight from the horse's mouth ... finding the best fit & helping a team in a major way win a championship is my main objective! I'm in no rush. Let me eliminate questions or speculation as to why... I believe whole heartedly my God will land me right where I need to be to accomplish what I've asked from him PERIOD"

Early in the free agency period, the Raiders were linked to Peterson, but nothing came of those rumors.

The Raiders, in need of a feature back after Latavius Murray signed with the Vikings, are reportedly pursuing the possibility of luring Oakland-native Marshawn Lynch out of retirement.

Peterson was scheduled to make $18 million in 2017, but the Vikings declined to exercise his contract, making him a free agent. The 2012 NFL MVP turned 32 on March 21 and played in just three games in 2016 due to a major knee injury.

According to the ESPN report, Peterson was looking for a contract that paid him over $8 million in the first year of the deal.

YOU CANT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ OR HEAR PEOPLE. The last thing I'm worried about is playing ball this coming season ... that WILL HAPPEN! It's not all about the money as EVERYONE is speculating here lately. You'd THINK these analysts spoke to me directly. When you don't know what's going on people will say anything to create or make a story! How prideful is it for me to put out ... I won't play for anything less than 8 million! But see, when you don't know a person or what they stand for it's easy to paint YOUR OWN PICTURE. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in! Here is something Straight from the horse's mouth ... finding the best fit & helping a team in a major way win a championship is my main objective! I'm in no rush. Let me eliminate questions or speculation as to why... I believe whole heartedly my God will land me right where I need to be to accomplish what I've asked from him PERIOD

A post shared by Adrian L Peterson (@adrianpeterson) on

 

NHL Gameday: Sharks face Preds, look to rebound from 'crap' performance

NHL Gameday: Sharks face Preds, look to rebound from 'crap' performance

Programming note – Sharks-Predators coverage starts today at 4:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California

WHERE THEY STAND

Sharks: 42-25-7, 91 points, 1st Pacific Division
Predators: 37-25-11, 85 points, 4th Central Division

PREGAME NEWS AND NOTES

***The freefalling Sharks will again try to put an end to their losing streak in their only visit to Nashville tonight. Friday night’s unsightly 6-1 loss in Dallas, their fifth straight in regulation, was surely their worst game of the season. Their typically strong defensive game handed the Stars all kinds of opportunities that they cashed in on.

“Uncharacteristic missed coverage," Pete DeBoer said of the Stars' third goal in which Jamie Benn was left uncovered, "but [I] think that you could say that about six of the goals – breakaways, two-on-ones. Just, crap. Not very good.”

Despite having a nine-point lead on the division on the morning of March 15, the Sharks are now tied in points with Anaheim (San Jose owns the tiebreaker, so is still officially in first place). The Ducks are idle Saturday, but Edmonton, two points back, is hosting putrid Colorado.

Nashville is 5-1-0 in its last six games, and 6-1-0 in its last seven at home.

***The Sharks have managed just five goals over their five regulation losses. Two of those scores have come on the power play, including one on a five-on-three; Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s goal against St. Louis deflected in off of a Blues player, and one of Patrick Marleau’s two markers in Minnesota on Tuesday came in large part to a miscommunication between Devan Dubnyk and Ryan Suter.

They are simply not generating anything lately.

“Some teams are doing a good job of taking some of our plays away, but it’s on us as players,” Joe Pavelski said. “You’ve got to win some battles, you've got to create some energy, some speed throughout the team. It’s hasn’t been one guy. It’s been all of us. We’re in this together. We’ll change it as a group."

***There was no morning skate on Saturday, so no word on whether Vlasic would be in the lineup after he took just one shift in the third period on Friday before departing.

The Sharks are 2-3-1 in the six games Vlasic has missed this season, including Tuesday in Minnesota when he was out with the flu. Just one of the two wins came in regulation (Jan. 7 against Detroit).

If he’s out, Dylan DeMelo will presumably draw back in on the third pair.

KEEP AN EYE ON...

Sharks: Tomas Hertl. It didn’t take long for Hertl to be bumped up to the Joe Thornton line after Friday’s game started to go sour. In the first period, Hertl looked like one of the few Sharks players actually performing decently, and he finished with a team-high four shots on goal. He remains without a point in his last 11 games, though.

Predators: James Neal. The Predators forward has goals in each of his two games against the Sharks this season, and is third on the Predators with 21 overall. After scoring in three straight games from March 11-16, Neal hasn’t found the scoresheet in his last three.

PROBABLE LINES

Sharks
Jannik Hansen – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Mikkel Boedker
Marcus Sorensen – Tomas Hertl – Joel Ward
Micheal Haley – Chris Tierney – Joonas Donskoi

Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko

Martin Jones (likely starter)
Aaron Dell

Predators
Filip Forsberg – Ryan Johansen – Viktor Arvidsson
Kevin Fiala – Calle Jarnkrok – James Neal
Colin Wilson – Colton Sissons – Craig Smith
Cody McLeod – Vern Fiddler – Austin Watson

Romas Josi – Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm – P.K. Subban
Matt Irwin – Yannick Weber

Pekka Rinne
Jusse Saros

INJURIES

Sharks: Marc-Edouard Vlasic (possible lower body) and Melker Karlsson (lower body) are questionable.

Predators: Mike Fisher (lower body) is questionable.

QUOTEABLE

"The nice thing about this is we get to go back at it again tomorrow. There’s going to be no excuse for not playing hard tomorrow.” – Brenden Dillon, after Friday night’s loss in Dallas