“It’s a tough night out there to be a pitcher,” Ryan Vogelsong said. He was right. The Indians won 12-11. Cleveland had 20 of the game’s 37 hits, and Bruce Bochy said that the ball had been carrying all day, something they noticed during the club’s BP session at Scottsdale Stadium this afternoon.
But Vogelsong had the roughest night of all when it came to pitching lines: nine runs (eight earned), 11 hits and two home runs (including one to Jeff Francoeur of all people) over 2.2 innings. But when we got to the clubhouse, prepared for the most uncomfortable post-outing interview so far this spring, Vogelsong was happy as could be. Ebullient, even!
“I felt like tonight was the best stuff I’ve had. I think I made some mental mistakes and those are things I’m going to have to work on here as well. But I’m not discouraged by tonight at all,” Vogelsong said.
Wait … what?
“Yeah, I felt good out there. It might be hard to believe or understand because there’s a lot of runs and hits up there, but from a pitching standpoint I felt good tonight. Ball was coming out good. Everything was better than it had been the previous games,” said Vogelsong, who said he was hitting both sides of the plate and throwing better curveballs and changeups than at any other point this spring.
While smiling throughout the interview, he repeatedly referenced not throwing the right pitches at the right times.
“I was away to lefties, I just didn’t do much work in. I think I made it pretty easy for them to cut the plate in half against me,” he said. “That’s a mental mistake on my part. I just think I got a little predictable.”
It’s hard to believe things are trending upward for Vogelsong, who gave up a run in five innings in his last start but surrendered seven runs (five earned) in 2.1 innings against the Mariners on March 8. But the games don’t count yet, Vogelsong’s mood is great, and Bochy didn’t sound too phased either.
“You keep going,” Bochy said. “All you do is keep going. He’ll be back out there. Hopefully make a little adjustment, get the ball down a little more consistently. I thought he made some good pitches, but I think his pitch-count caught up with him there. He couldn’t get that third out in the third inning and he got tired.”
— Silver Linings Playbook (sorry): the Giants didn’t walk anyone.
— The one pitch Vogelsong admitted was terrible was the one Francoeur crushed deep over the left field wall. “That ball was just up and spun out of my hand,” he said.
— The Giants actually out-homered the Indians 4-3, with Tyler Colvin hitting one in the first, Pablo Sandoval and Hector Sanchez going back-to-back in the third, and Brandon Hicks hitting one in the fourth.
“He’s in the mix,” Bochy said of Hicks. “He’s had as good a spring as anybody here.”
— Bochy also had nice things to say about Dan Runzler, who allowed just one run in two innings (it was that kind of day). Runzler looks noticeably lighter than I remember, but maybe his uniform isn’t as baggy.
— Another Runzler fun fact I may or may not have mentioned before: he’s the only baseball player I’ve ever seen wearing Vans after a game.
— Angel Pagan parked one during batting practice this afternoon. The ball was carrying, but that could be a good sign in terms of his availability in the coming days.
— Marco Scutaro was also taking batting practice and grounders at second. He might play in a minor league game on Wednesday (the rest of the team is off).
— The best part about tonight: I retrieved the Macbook power cord I left here (Goodyear Ballpark) back on Tuesday. I ended up buying one at the Apple Store, but since I’m such an idiot about leaving power cords in press boxes it’s probably for the best that I have two. #nct
— Not the best part about tonight, but no big deal: I was seated next to the only Giants beat writer who can’t stand me for whatever reason.
— Brandon Belt had three singles, including a bunt he pushed down the third base line. He bunted one barely foul over the weekend, so that’s clearly something he’s working on to counteract the defensive shifts he’s been facing.