Every June 13th in San Francisco will now officially be â€œMatt Cain Dayâ€. Thank goodness, another dominant start and mayor Ed Lee was about to declare baseball season in San Francisco â€œClayton Kershaw Seasonâ€. For almost four whole baseball games at AT&T Park, the Giants couldn’t get an earned run past Clayton Kershaw. Melky Cabrera’s 4th-inning solo home run snapped that streak, and thusly expedited his inevitable apotheosis. Vote Melky, guys. Vote Melky til it hurts.
When eying the pitching match-ups for this series, a quick glance revealed:
Zito vs. Guy I Haven’t Heard of With An Unsustainable ERA
Vogelsong vs. Jesus
Lincecum vs. Feast or Famine Guy
The first and third games made me queasy. Some Zito crackers settled my stomach last night, but another gut-wrenching Lincecum start with the division possibly on the line loomed large. But I knew that middle game could be a classic. Vogelsong versus an anemic lineup and Clayton Kershaw leading Giants hitters like lambs to the slaughter. 160 minutes of bliss.
And so it was. Vogelsong allowed no Dodger past second base. He did it by mixing his movement with all of his pitches and inducing ground balls and weak popups. Or as the Dodgers call them, at-bats.
A quick glance at Vogey’s peripherals this season has him outperforming his xFIP by over two whole runs. But before anyone points out the low-K rate and high LOB% as the culprits for potential regression, I’d like to point out that this is the same pitcher who outperformed his xFIP by an entire run in 2011. New Vogelsong doesn’t care about advanced metrics. I’d like to think he learned this from Matt Cain. They can talk about it at the All-Star game while Keith Olberman cuddles with pitching wins.
Now there is no way that, for the duration of his career, Ryan Vogelsong shits on advanced metrics to the tune of two runs of expected versus actual ERA. But one run? One and a half? Why not? Anecdotal evidence tells me that Ryan Vogelsong can pitch with men on base. When innings start to get ugly, his confidence and composure allow him to lock in and get out of innings unscathed. Matt Cain shits on metrics by inducing lazy fly balls. Ryan Vogelsong does it with grit. At least that’s what my big brown eyes tell me. And the numbers back it up by failing to back it up.
Brandon Watch 2012:
Belt: I don’t expect a young hitter getting his first uninterrupted playing time to rake a guy like Clayton Kershaw. But hey, a double. An extra-base hit against the Giant Killer after two 0-fers? Major exp points for Baby Giraffe, even if his batting average went down a tic.
Stats of the Day:
8: Times the Giants have shutout opponents
2: Consecutive times the Giants have shutout the Dodgers
1: Games back in the division