|He gets heated. I like that.|
Ryan Vogelsong's season has been well-documented. He's better this year than he ever has been. Vogelsong's "best" year in the majors, he went 6-13 with a 6.50 ERA. In the minors, in 2005, he went 12-8, but aside from that, Vogelsong has never reached double-digits in wins. Ever.
Last start he broke a 12-start streak without a loss, but after today's game, he's now 10-2. That's two losses all season for a minor-league signee who took Barry Zito's place in the rotation. I apologize, that's two losses all year for a top-five ERA contender who made the All-Star Game.
At one point in this game, he retired 17 in a row. His cutter blew up at least six Marlins bats. His curveball was a nice 73 MPH pearl that flopped in the strike zone when he wanted it to, and flopped right out of the strike zone when he wanted as well. He was pounding the corners like he has been all season with the four-seamer and the cutter.
Seven and two-thirds. Eight strikeouts. Four hits. Two walks. Two runs.
Vogelsong is 9-0 when the Giants score at least three runs. It seems like you can say that for every Giants pitcher. Tim Lincecum is 9-2 (46-10 in his career). Matt Cain is 7-1 (56-23 for his career). Madison Bumgarner is 6-1 (13-2 in his career). Barry Zito is still hurt.
On the other side of the plate, OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION. Four homeruns. Finally, the solo homerun streak was broken by Cody Ross in the third inning, when he hit his ninth of the year off starter Chris Volstad. But then Schierholtz in the fourth. Belt in the sixth. Belt in the eighth. And that's all you need.
Belt really made an impression today. He doesn't want to go back to Fresno. Two homers, both of them very impressive. One was an opposite field moon-shot, that Belt said in the postgame was "probably the farthest I can hit it." The other was another no-doubter to right field off of lefty-specialist Mike Dunn, who had never given up a homerun to a left-handed batter in 152 previous plate appearances.
And he played well at first base, making a huge stretch on a bad throw by Orlando Cabrera. Manager Bruce Bochy said after the game that the two bombs will earn him a start somewhere tomorrow. Hopefully Boch sits Aaron Rowand and puts Ross in center, because I still feel that Aubrey Huff is heating up a little bit.
These last two games, however, the Giants offense has not been so stagnant. Yesterday it was timely hitting and breaks. Today they didn't really bunch hits together. Pablo Sandoval struck out a couple times. I can't remember one plate appearance from Jeff Keppinger. But when you hit four homeruns, you don't need to.
The Giants won the homerun battle, won the game, and won the series. That's how it's done. That felt good.
Best at-bat of the day HAS to go to Santiago Casilla, who had his first career at-bat and stood about as far away as possible from Marlins colossus Jose Ceda. Great shot of that here (courtesy Bay City Ball). He now leads the Giants in OBP and OPS (1.000).
For not having any intention of swinging the bat, he sure looked prepared to with his batting gloves on.