Regression is an ugly buzz word in baseball chatter these days. “X player will regress to the mean after a career year.” “That’s a small sample size, X player will surely regress.” “I regress seeing X3, stupid Brett Ratner.” It doesn’t appear that any of these things apply to Ryan Vogelsong.
Nothing he did today was particularly sparkling or overpowering, but the thunderous Rangers bats seemed less thunderous, hitting ground balls and settling for warning-track fly balls. Besides Mitch Moreland, who hit a Bondsian shot into the water that all but ended his outing, Vogelsong sapped the power from a powerful lineup. The Rangers have a league-leading .806 OPS as a team, which is a buck oh five higher than Brandon Belt’s .701.
With nicks and bruises bothering Casilla and Romo, the Giants bullpen needed to get healthy. Starts by Vogelsong have been a panacea. Vogey has finished the 6th inning in all eleven starts this season, and the 7th inning in all but three. This is only his second time reaching the 8th but, to be fair, they only play seven innings in Japan. Limited space, from what I hear.
I’m prepared to go forward without Melky Cabrera in the lineup. This preparation has gone much smoother with the return of Pablo Sandoval. As long as he doesn’t once again eat his way out of the Hot “Pocket”, the Giants should still be able to win games by sneaking across runs with the combination of speed and a solid middle of the order. But man, let’s hope Cabrera comes back before Ryan Theriot’s natural state of being does the same.
With the normal toll that injuries take on a lineup, enhanced by veteran contracts that force Bochy’s hand, you will see lineups like the Giants put out yesterday.
LF Non-roster invitee
2B Utility infielder
CF Angel Pagan
C 22-year-old catcher with OBP 2 points higher than his BA
1B Non-prospect DFA’d after the game
3B Replacement-level player at best
RF Organizational guy (+ cannon)
SS Glove-only guy
Zero runs. It’s almost like it was designed that way. This further emphasizes the importance of having Buster and Melky in the lineup as much as possible, to complement the competent, Sandoval and Pagan.
Belt: An 0-fer. But with Pill’s demotion and an upcoming 9-game AL road trip allowing Bochy to use Huff as a *gulp* DH, Belt should see more starts than ever. He continues to play the best first base the Giants have seen since JT Snow, and with further seasoning he might be able to match His Eye Blackness.
Crawford: A great play on a short-hop that was as buttery smooth as the product in his hair.
Stats of the Day:
-5: Hits with runners in scoring position, in 18 at-bats
-5: Runs by the Giants. Golly.
-1.71: George Kontos’ ERA in Fresno this year, who has a real shot at topping Edlefsen both on the mound and name spellability
-.043: Vogelsong has got himself a batting average
0: Games back the Giants would be if they played in the AL West