Ryan Vogelsong (5-5, 4.38) had a great May (4-0, 1.14). Then June happened (0-3, 6.61). Until last night. Doesn’t he always seem to pitch his best when his back is to the wall?
With the rehabbing Matt Cain and Jake Peavy poised to return to the team and presumably the starting rotation, Vogey was fighting for his life last night. If he loses his spot in the starting rotation, there’s no guarantee he remains on the staff/team.
So Vogelsong simply went out and shut down the Mariners over 6 2/3 innings, allowing just three hits, two walks, and no runs, while striking out six. The bullpen came on to preserve their league-leading 11th shutout of the season in a 7-0 victory that earned the G-men a split with Seattle in this four game, home and away series. “It’s a credit to the whole staff, manager Bruce Bochy said. “The bullpen plays a big part in the shutouts,” Boch added.
After scoring just nine runs in their previous six games, losing five, the Giants’ offense finally broke out, scoring seven runs on ten hits, including two extra base hits.
Matt Duffy, elevated to the fifth spot in the batting order, continued driving in runs with a two-run triple in the eighth that increased the lead to 5-0. Duffy now ranks third on the team with 31 RBIs.
At 36-32, the Giants trail the Dodgers by 2 1/2 games for first place in the NL West. Tonight, in Los Angeles, Chris Heston (6-5, 3.76) faces Mike Bolsinger (4-1, 2.25) as the G-men look to close the gap against their rivals. Heston is 4-1 on the road this year with a 4.38 ERA. The Giants are 7-2 against the Dodgers this year. Look for the typical playoff atmosphere, full of dramatics, this weekend.