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

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

April 28, 2011
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.

Bumgarner throws three innings of no-hit ball in first rehab start

Bumgarner throws three innings of no-hit ball in first rehab start


Madison Bumgarner was back on the bump Sunday night in a Giants jersey for the first time since being placed on the DL due to a dirt bike accident on April 21.

Bumgarner took the mound for the Arizona Rookie League Giants against the Arizona Rookie League Angels and did not allow a hit in three innings pitched. The Giants' ace also struck out two and walked one. 

In both the first and third innings, Bumgarner pitched a perfect three up and three down frame. 

Bumgarner was diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain of his left throwing shoulder and sustained bruised ribs from his dirt bike accident on an off day in Colorado. Pitching in a game for the first time in over two months, Bumgarner was throwing between 88-91 miles per hour, according to Tommy Stokke of FanRagSports. 

After finishing his three innings of work, Bumgarner went down to the bullpen to increase his pitch count, reports Sande Charles of FanRagSports

Before sustaining the injury, Bumgarner was 0-3 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts this season. 

The Giants have gone 21-41 since Bumgarner's injury. They are 27-51 on the year and sit 24.5 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West. 

After another Giants clunker, Bochy tells players 'enough is enough'

After another Giants clunker, Bochy tells players 'enough is enough'

SAN FRANCISCO — A few minutes after yet another missed opportunity at the plate Sunday, a voice came over a speaker in the press box at AT&T Park and announced a 524th consecutive sellout. It nicely summed up this current stretch of Giants baseball. 

The seats are emptier than they used to be at first pitch, and they were just about abandoned in the ninth inning of an 8-2 loss, but for the most part the fans are still showing up in droves. One woman brought a toaster by the dugout Sunday morning and asked players and coaches to sign it, hoping to recapture the magic from across the bridge. Another, Bryan Stow, made his first appearance of the season at AT&T Park, met with Bruce Bochy, and said he hoped to see a win. As Matt Moore started warming up, a band set up on top of the visiting dugout to play hits that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. 

For a while, AT&T Park was rocking. And then, as has happened so often this summer, the game started. 

The Giants turned in another epic clunker in a season full of them. They have lost 12 of their last 13 games and 21 of 26, but it’s worse than the raw numbers. On most nights, some in the organization have noted privately, they are simply boring. It’s one thing to lose, it’s quite another to do it in this way. 

“There’s no getting around it,” Bochy said after the sweep. “I’ve been through some tough stretches here and this is as tough as any stretch I’ve seen. For some reason the baseball gods are really testing us here and (testing) this group. It’s not that they’re not coming out ready or trying, but enough is enough.

“At some point, we’ve got to find a way to get this thing turned around.”

Even a slight pivot would be welcomed by the faithful. There were scattered boos Sunday, the latest in a growing trend. This is a fan base that has seen the highest highs, but rarely in franchise history have the lows been this low. 

The crowd no longer turns to the rally lights that were used so often in an awful April, but the noise still grows with each new rally. And then, every single time Sunday, the Giants killed off any hope. 

In the second inning, a Brandon Belt bunt single and Brandon Crawford bloop put two on, but a pair of rookies flied out. 

In the third, the bases were loaded ahead of Buster Posey. He flied out to bring one run across, and there were still runners on the corners for Belt, who leads the team in homers. On a 2-2 count, Hunter Pence inexplicably took off for second. He was caught, the inning was over, and the two-run Mets lead was intact. Bochy said he did not send Pence. 

In the sixth, there were two on with no outs for Posey. Both runners bolted to stay out of a double play. Posey popped up to first -- for a double play.

“He’s not a guy that strikes out, so I’m pretty confident sending runners with Buster,” Bochy said. “We can’t keep laying back. We’re trying to force the issue a bit and stay out of double plays.”

In the eighth, the Giants loaded the bases for Posey and Belt. Posey grounded out. Belt struck out for the third time. 

“We’re getting guys out there,” Bochy said. “We’re not doing enough damage.”

Matt Moore’s damage was self-inflicted. He twice gave up homers to the guy — Rene Rivera — hitting in front of the pitcher. Moore said he has stopped throwing his cutter the past three starts and tried to get his four-seamer going, but the Mets were teeing off. Moore gave up five runs on seven hits. He was pulled in the fifth, left to think about mechanics that still aren’t right. 

“The cutter is a little bit different of a pitch and at times it can take away from the four-seam fastball location-wise, and command of the four-seam was starting to go down the more I threw (the cutter),” Moore said. “I’m anxious to get back to it, but the foundation has got to be throwing the four-seam fastball. I need to execute where they’re carrying through the zone, not running or cutting.”

Moore said his confidence is fine and his problems are not physical. Others can no longer say that. Austin Slater, a rare bright spot in this five-win month, was pulled with a tight hip flexor. He was headed for an MRI. 

Slater is too young to be one of the players Bochy approached after the game. He said he talked to a few, though, passing along that “enough is enough” message. Moore, last in the National League in ERA (6.04), was not one who needed a reminder. 

“I’m sitting on a six right now with not a lot of wins and not enough team wins when I’m throwing,” he said. “It’s been 'enough' for me for the last couple of months.”