After the San Francisco Giants were shutout for the first time in 2012 on Friday, June 8 against the Texas Rangers, I knew the Giants would have to come out strong on Saturday, June 9 - and they came out Vogelstrong. "Vogelstrong" is just one of the clever terms that fans came up with in 2011 for Ryan Vogelsong, a pitcher who re-emerged in the big leagues with the Giants after enduring a tough journey through baseball. However, through his perseverance and determination he made it back to the majors in 2011 and was even selected as an NL All-Star after a hot start to the year.
Vogelsong would finish 2011 with a 13-7 record - his first recorded year in MLB with a record over .500 - and a 2.71 ERA. As mentioned he was an All-Star for the first time in his career and even received votes for the NL Cy Young, finishing 11th in the balloting. It was probably a dream year for Vogelsong and many said that he would regress come 2012.
Try telling that to Vogelsong.
So far in 2012, Vogelsong is 5-2 - including his victory over the Texas Rangers on June 9 - and has a stellar 2.26 ERA (good enough for second in the NL). Sure he got off to a slow start with two losses in his first four starts, but in his last seven he has earned all five of his wins. Besides, in his two losses this year, he gave up two runs in 6.1 innings and one run in 7.0 innings - both quality starts. Not to mention, in two of his no decisions, which were also Giants' victories, he gave up just one earned run in each game. So when you really break it down, Vogelsong hasn't regressed at all, looking, perhaps, even stronger than he did in 2011.
It's actually incredible to me that Vogelsong has stayed as strong as he has. There has been no break in his confidence - if it has even been bent - and his pitch location is so consistent it's ridiculous. Just to compare, Giants' fans are crazy about Matt Cain and how he is having an incredible year. However, it's Ryan Vogelsong who has a better quality start percentage and a lower ERA, meaning that Vogelsong must be having an incredible year as well.
The scariest part of all is that the Giants have four starting pitchers ranked in the top 25 when it comes to their ERA, and none of them are named Tim Lincecum. Just imagine if Tim Lincecum can turn things around against the Rangers today (June 10) and what kind of positive effect it could have on a Giants team that is starting to pick up steam.
Food for thought: Did you expect Ryan Vogelsong to remain as steadfast as he has so far into 2012? What about Vogelsong makes him such an excellent starting pitcher and how has he been able to prove his doubters wrong thus far?
David is co-founder of wrapupp sports blog where fresh content is posted daily and present sports blogs and sports opinions - all with a West Coast bias. Growing up in the Bay Area, David is a huge supporter of all the local sports teams; the Giants, Athletics, Warriors, Sharks, 49ers, and Raiders. His one fault, admittedly, as many of his friends and family would say, is his love for the Los Angeles Lakers. Growing up, Magic Johnson was his favorite basketball player and he fell in love with the team. He chalks it up to, "Not knowing any better". Now his love for sports has turned just as academic as it is intuitive and he follows most all sports all over the nation.
You can follow David on Twitter: @officialwrapupp
MLB.com. Giants and Rangers recap. MLB 2012.
Baseball-Reference.com. Ryan Vogelsong career stats. MLB 2012.
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