The Giants evened the series with the Cardinals behind a great start by Ryan Vogelsong. We all know the Vogelsaga. We all sing the Vogelsong. We all love the Vogelstart. We haven't seen that particular animal around as much of late, but Vogie had it going on tonight. He threw that nasty cut fastball into the righthanders and got a lot of popups and weak ground balls from some very tough hitters. He was able to throw all of his pitches including a nice, sharp curveball that dropped in for some big strikes. The Giants finally get a real start and it pays off with a huge win. Not only did Vogie do what needed to be done, he showed the way for the rest of the rotation. This is a matchup with the defending champs! These guys can really hit and can wear down a pitching staff with their patience and plate discipline. But if you throw strikes and work both sides of the plate and "hit Buster's glove" they can go down in order just like any other lineup. I hope Matt Cain was taking notes because he's going to have to do the same thing in St. Louis. But no worries--that's not until Wednesday. I want to enjoy this one. After all, the Giants were facing having to win four of the next six after losing the opener. But now they are on familiar ground, needing to win three of the next five, and we know they can do that.
The best Giants games feature lots of heroes, and tonight's win was no different. Angel Pagan had a great game, Marco Scutaro had a huge hit, and Brandon Belt looked good on both sides of the ball, and come to think of it so did Gregor Blanco. The hit by Matt Holliday on Scutaro at second base got Ol' Boch riled up, and understandably so, it was late and off the bag. Boch was correct in the post-game interview, it was an illegal slide under the newer rules. The problem was that it wasn't so blatant in real time that the umps could do anything. My biggest concern is that Scoots is healthy and can continue. The fact that he stayed in the game to get the big RBIs was amazing. Holliday said the right things after the game, for what it's worth. Shit happens. And, by defintion, shit ain't good.
The Giants got a break late on a bad call and squeezed out two more runs. The 7-1 final felt good, real good. Even Aubrey Huff got in on the act. The Cardinals made two errors in the game and Huff's "hit" was a pop fly down the line that the fielders gave up on. Ryan Theriot came in at second base in the second spot and stroked a two-run single. I like it when lots of guys put the ball in play and the lineup turns over many times. The Giants death-by-a-thousand-paper-cuts offense needs everyone to chip in.
Way to go, Vogie! You da man! Way to go, Giants. Keep it rolling!