Depending on what the Los Angeles Dodgers do tomorrow afternoon in Cincinnati, the San Francisco Giants could play tomorrow’s game with champagne and beer on ice in the clubhouse — as opposed to just the Bud Light that normally sits in the clubhouse refrigerator. The Magic Number is now just two, and as the Dodgers hope Stephen Fife can out-duel old friend Mat Latos, the Giants will send Madison Bumgarner against the Padres’ Andrew Werner.
It hasn’t mattered much who the Giants have faced lately — Pablo Sandoval has crushed just about everything in sight. He hit his fourth HR in the last three games, went 3-for-3 with a walk, and he’s gone 11-for-19 with two walks this homestand.
Maybe you can call it another example of the Giants — Bruce Bochy in particular — sticking with a guy longer than many thought was prudent. Sandoval’s slump carried on for so long, but Bochy kept batting him third in the order in front of Buster Posey. It’s a little like how they stuck with Brandon Crawford through his early season defensive struggles. It’s also why Hunter Pence will hit fifth for the foreseeable future.
– Sandoval’s spot in the lineup was safe, barring injury. But Ryan Vogelsong’s hold on a spot in the rotation was on borrowed time. Once the postseason came around, the going wisdom was that Vogelsong was going to move to the pen in favor of a Cain/Lincecum/Bumgarner/Zito rotation. Vogelsong was asked whether that had entered into his mind.
“If I’m not in the rotation hopefully I’m in the bullpen,” he said. “My ultimate goal is to walk away with a ring.”
Video length: 38 seconds
– After Vogelsong’s last home start, he said his fastball was “flat,” and that wasn’t the case on Friday night. Besides a mistake to Chase Headley, one of the best hitters in the National League, Vogelsong looked like the guy who led the league in ERA for a while there. To get his fastball moving again, he finally found a mechanical adjustment that worked.
“Been trying to tweak some stuff here for a while and finally found something that felt comfortable. Easy to repeat. Somehow I got kind of twisted around there a little bit along the way. Took me a while to get back into something that felt right,” said Vogelsong, whose struggles have weighed on him to the point of insomnia.
“I’m going to sleep again for the first time in about a month tonight, I can tell you that.”
Video length: 50 seconds
– Buster Posey was presented with the Willie Mac Award before the game, and during the contest he drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the fifth. Friday was also the first time in seven games that Posey failed to reach base at least twice. Dude’s slippin’…
– Marco Scutaro apparently has an 11-game hitting streak going. Could’ve sworn it was at least 30. Huh.
– I noticed that Angel Pagan — who hit his 15th triple and added a double as well — came over and talked to Gregor Blanco for a while after Blanco cut off a ball pitcher Chase Kelly hit to the left-center gap to hold Kelly to a single. I asked Blanco what he said to Blanco, and Pagan talked about how great it is to have speed in the outfield. In a related story, Xavier Nady’s locker is nowhere near Pagan’s.
Video length: 38 seconds
And as I bid you adieu, here’s Jon Miller going all “Gangnam Style” on us. The nutty energy of the postseason is just getting underway. Are you ready?