Ryan Vogelsong wriggled his way out of jams all night long and the Giants prevailed over the Diamondbacks. He walked three guys and now has 26 in his nine starts (61 IP, 3.8 BB/9). He had a career-low 3.1/9 last season, and one has to think that was a big part of his turnaround. Throw in the five hits and a hit batter and there were red-clads all over the place. But Vogie got the big outs when he needed to and gave the team another superb start (Game Score 66). He racked up eight strikeouts, getting Justin Upton three times, bringing his total to 46 so far this year. That's 6.8/9, just shy of his career-high of 7.0/9 from 2011. Take a look at his innings pitched per start: 6-1/3, 7, 6, 7, 7-1/3, 7, 7, 6-1/3, 7. And his runs allowed: 2, 3, 4, 2, 1, 1, 0, 3, 1. There was a lot of pre-season talk that Vogie could not sustain his success, but I think he's answered his critics. FanGraphs gave him a rating of 2.4 WAR for last season and gives him a 0.8 so far for 2012.
The Giants got to young right-hander Bryan Shaw in the bottom of the 8th. Shaw is from Livermore and went to Long Beach State. It was an innocent little rally with a walk from Ryan Theriot and a hit from Melky Cabrera to start it, but a sacrifice fly from Buster Posey, a hit from Angel Pagan, and a beat-out-the-DP grounder from Joaquin Arias and there was a win. Cabrera now leads the NL in batting average. Excellent relief from Clay Hensley (another good Sabean pickup) and Santiago Casilla sealed the deal. NO ERRORS last night and some fine play at short by Brandon Crawford also contributed. This team is right on the edge of putting it together--if they can keep catching the ball they can take advantage of their great pitching and win close games. The biggest question mark of the year--Tim Lincecum--goes tonight with a chance for a sweep. When he turns it around and the lineup gets Pablo Sandoval back, look out NL West.