10/26/12 1:33 AM ET
When deciding who would start Saturday’s Game 3 in Detroit, Giants manager Bruce Bochy could’ve easily gone with Matt Cain, the clear-cut ace of the staff with the big contract and the Cy Young Award stuff. Instead he went with Ryan Vogelsong, meaning Vogelsong — and not Cain — lines up to pitch Game 7 if this World Series goes to the end.
Think about that for a second.
Think about what that means, considering all he’s been through, for the journeyman Vogelsong to not only be a frontline starter in this World Series, but for the 35-year-old to be picked ahead of the ace with the stakes at their absolute highest.
“When I think about Vogey, I think of perseverance,” said Bochy, whose Giants can take a commanding 3-0 lead if Vogelsong continues his dominant ways in Detroit. “What this guy has been through, he never quit. He had to go through a lot — injuries, [playing] in the Minor Leagues and Japan — and was just relentless in getting back to the Major Leagues.”
TALE OF THE TAPE: GAME 3
|2012 regular season|
|Overall: 31 GS, 14-9, 3.37 ERA, 62 BB, 158 K||Overall: 31 GS, 9-13, 3.86 ERA, 48 BB, 167 K|
|Key stat: Vogelsong is 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in three starts this postseason.||Key stat: Sanchez spent six years in the NL before being traded in July.|
|At Comerica Park|
Career: 1 GS, 0-0, 2.70 ERA
|2012: 6 GS, 3-2, 3.47 ERA
Career: 6 GS, 3-2, 3.47 ERA
|Against this opponent|
Career: 1 GS, 0-0, 2.70 ERA
|2012: 2 GS, 1-1, 4.38 ERA
Career: 5 GS, 3-1, 1.98 ERA
|Loves to face: Miguel Cabrera: 1-for-5, 2 K
Hates to face: Omar Infante: 7-for-11
|Loves to face: Buster Posey: 1-for-8, 4 K
Hates to face: Hunter Pence: 6-for-18, 2 RBI
|Why he’ll win: Vogelsong was dominant the last time out, allowing one run on four hits while fanning nine in Game 6 of the NLCS.||Why he’ll win: Sanchez tossed seven scoreless innings in Game 2 of the ALCS, striking out seven batters and walking three.|
|Pitcher beware: Vogelsong’s road ERA of 3.87 is more than a run higher than his home mark.||Pitcher beware: Sanchez has not pitched since Game 2 of the ALCS on Oct. 14.|
|Bottom line: Vogelsong has been brilliant and the Giants are comfortable with him on the mound for their first Series road game.||Bottom line: Sanchez will be in familiar territory when he faces a National League squad in his World Series debut.|
Storylines can become redundant this time of year, especially when they’re as good as the one surrounding Vogelsong, the Giants’ 1998 Draft choice who had Tommy John surgery, bounced through four different organizations, pitched for two Japanese teams, went five years without pitching in the Majors, spent the 2010 season struggling with the Phillies’ and Angels’ Triple-A affiliates, then somehow became an All-Star in 2011.
But this one just keeps getting better.
In the National League Championship Series against the Cardinals, Vogelsong notched two of the Giants’ four wins by pitching seven innings of one-run ball in Games 2 and 6, the latter including nine strikeouts — more than he’d ever struck out in a Major League game — and perpetual “Vogey!” chants from a sold-out AT&T crowd.
“He’s had such a long journey, such an incredible story,” Giants right fielder Hunter Pence said. “For that moment, for him to be out there in that moment, it’s something you can’t explain. One of the happiest feelings I’ve ever had.”
Cain, the Game 7 winner on the strength of 5 2/3 innings of shutout ball, could’ve easily pitched Game 3 of the World Series on four days’ rest.
But Bochy wanted Vogelsong, pushing Cain to Game 4.
“He’s throwing the ball as well as anybody on the staff, so we just kept it in order,” the Giants’ skipper said. “If Vogelsong gets the last start, we have no problem with that. I know Matt has worked hard, he’s got a lot of innings. I didn’t think we needed to flip-flop the two, to be honest, the way Vogey is throwing.”
Vogelsong went 14-9 with a 3.37 ERA in 2012, allowing three runs or fewer in 24 of his 31 starts. As late as Aug. 12, he led the NL with a 2.27 ERA. Then he hit a rough patch, giving up 34 earned runs over his next 29 2/3 innings. Then he rebounded once more, totaling one earned run over his last three regular-season starts and carrying that into the playoffs, during which he’s posted a 1.42 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 19 innings.
In the end, the decision to start him in Game 3 may not have been all that difficult.
“These guys believe in me,” Vogelsong said. “Every person in that clubhouse, to the coaching staff, to the front office, they believe in me, and that rubs off. It doesn’t make the game any easier, but it’s easier to go out there when you know everyone’s behind you and thinks that you’re going to get the job done. Nobody wants to be the guy that doesn’t get it done.”
Aníbal Sánchez was born on February 27th, 1984 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An%C3%ADbal_S%C3%A1nchez
February 27th, 1984
2 + 27 +2+0+1+2 = 34 = his personal year (from February 27th, 2012 to February 26th, 2013) = Pitcher. Pitching. Speed at which he throws the ball. Generating a buzz. Getting people all fired up.
34 year + 10 (October) = 44 = his personal month (from October 27th, 2012 to November 26th, 2012) = It is what it is.
44 month + 27 (27th of the month on Saturday October 27th, 2012) = 71 = his personal day = With the pros. Major league. Do a good job.
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