San Francisco Giants right-hander Ryan Vogelsong(notes) doesn’t feel it’s necessary to fire back at critics who don’t feel he deserved a spot in last week’s All-Star Game. His breakout season says enough.
Vogelsong and the NL West-leading Giants will try to avoid a season high-tying third straight home loss Saturday night when they face the Milwaukee Brewers.
Signed to a minor league deal by San Francisco (57-43) in the offseason following stops in Japan and the minors, Vogelsong (7-1, 2.02 ERA) has been outstanding in his first season in the majors since making 20 relief appearances for Pittsburgh in 2006, allowing two runs or fewer in 13 of 15 starts.
The journeyman right-hander, called up from Triple-A Fresno on April 17 when Barry Zito(notes) was placed on the disabled list, made his first All-Star appearance after Giants manager Bruce Bochy chose him for the NL squad. Some felt that Vogelsong did not deserve the honor over Atlanta’s Tommy Hanson(notes).
“They can say whatever they want to say,” Vogelsong said after striking out five in 6 2-3 innings of Monday’s 5-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. “It doesn’t bother me one bit but (Bochy) stuck his neck out for me to pick me so I want to show people he made a good decision.”
Vogelsong is 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA in five starts versus Milwaukee, with the last coming Sept. 6, 2004, while with Pittsburgh.
He’ll face a Brewers team that has won five of seven and leads the NL Central by one game over Pittsburgh and St. Louis following Friday’s 4-2 series-opening victory.
Milwaukee (54-47), winners of seven of 10 at AT&T Park, opened its 11-game trip with a league-worst 16-30 road record, but the club is getting good results away from Miller Park in large part to the contributions from shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt(notes) and catcher Jonathan Lucroy(notes), who each drove in two Friday.
Betancourt is batting .423 (11 for 26) with two homers and six RBIs on the trip, while Lucroy is 9 for 21 in his last six games.
“We’re just trying to help out our lineup,” Lucroy said. “We’ve just got to pull our weight at the bottom.”
Milwaukee could get a lift from the top of the order Saturday if Ryan Braun(notes) returns to the lineup after resting his lingering left calf strain in the series opener. The All-Star left fielder, who has never faced Vogelsong, is a .373 (19 for 51) career hitter in San Francisco.
Saturday’s scheduled starter Randy Wolf(notes) (6-7, 3.58) has also enjoyed coming to the Bay Area, going 2-0 with a 0.53 ERA in his last two starts in San Francisco. The veteran left-hander threw a three-hitter in a 3-0 win at AT&T Park on Sept. 17.
Wolf, though, is 0-3 with a 4.94 ERA in his last four starts after giving up two runs and eight hits over 7 1-3 innings in Monday’s 3-0 loss at Arizona.
He struck out five and yielded two runs in a 3-2 home win over the Giants on May 28.