KPIX 5 Sports Director Dennis O’Donnell hosts “Gameday” every Sunday night at 11:30pm on CBS 5 and offers his unique sports analysis here.
SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Go figure – Ryan Vogelsong pitches his best game of the year, silences his critics, then gets hit on the hand while batting and breaks two bones in his pitching hand. His next scheduled start is with his surgeon. Six weeks? Nine weeks? The season? Who knows with two broken bones in a pitching hand.
Vogelsong was pitching for his spot in the rotation. Now he’s out of it because he was holding a baseball bat. In truth, Vogelsong might have been pitching for his future in San Francisco. His contract is up at the end of 2013 after signing a two-year, $8.3 million last year. Now what? How much time will he have to prove he is still a vital and dependable part of the rotation? At 35, he’s on the wrong side of father time and his numbers showed little reason to deserve an extension.
Naturally, and in a microcosm of his entire baseball career, Vogelsong was pitching a gem when he needed it most. The skeptics were silenced and so were the Nationals. For about two hours, Vogelsong had recaptured the magic that inspired the stuff movies are made of. Afterwards, he admitted it was the best he’d felt and pitched in a long time. Now this. How much can one guy endure?
For the first time since the two-title run, the Giants lose a starter for an extended period. That’s a pretty amazing accomplishment and a very significant reason for their success. Brian Sabean has taken care of the arms that have taken care of him. He is fully aware that great pitching will beat great hitting over 162 games and a post season as well. The Giants pitching is the reason the Giants are two-time World Champions. This time around, however, there is no Matt Cain to call up from Fresno. No Madison Bumgarner or Zach Wheeler. Add to all this the sobering reality that the 2013 rotation was taking on water to begin with. Cain isn’t Cain, Linceum is a fifth starter, Zito struggles mightily on the road, and Bumgarner had quietly become the Giants lone consistent pitcher in the rotation.
Somewhere, the writer is shaking his head. The Vogelsong script will have to be rewritten…again. Another comeback? A return just in time for the World Series? The baseball world has counted him out before. They surely won’t do it again.
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