Ryan Vogelsong pitched brilliantly Friday night in New York City, facing one batter over the minimum, in a complete-game victory, as the San Francisco Giants defeated the New York Mets, 5-1, in the opener of a ten-game road trip. Matt Duffy made his major league debut for the Giants, having been called up from double-A ball to start at second base, and had his first major league base hit and RBI when he singled in the seventh inning to drive in Hunter Pence from third base.
Vogelsong pitched five innings of no-hit ball, giving up only a harmless base-on-balls in the fourth inning, but surrendered a lead-off single to Juan Legares in the sixth inning. Legares was later doubled off second base when pitcher Jon Niese lined into an inning-ending double play, Michael Morse to Brandon Crawford covering the bag at second. Vogelsong’s only other hit given up in the game, was a lead-off home run to Lucas Duda to start the eighth inning. Vogelsong went on to retire the last six batters he faced.
Jon Niese started for the Mets and worked into the ninth inning, before giving up a leadoff single to Brandon Crawford, the only Giant to get more than one base knock off Niese. Niese gave up a total of eight hits over eight innings, walking none and striking out four. In fact, there was only one walk surrendered in the game, when Vogelsong issued a free pass to Curtis Gunderson to lead off the fourth.
For the Giants Brandon Crawford drove in the first run of the game with a second-inning single, knocking in Juan Perez, who doubled to open up the inning. Hunter Pence would drive in the second run of the game with a broken-bat dribbler to second base.
Later in the seventh inning, both Crawford and Pence tripled, Pence’s drive to right-center field knocking in a pair. Duffy finished off the scoring for the Giants with his RBI single.
Vogelsong, who did not win a game in July partially because the Giants scored only three runs for him in the whole month, got a hugely-needed win for the Giants and for himself. Regardless of how the Dodgers/Cubs game turns out, this one was a must-win game for San Francisco, and they won it in convincing style.
Considering Brian Sabean opted not to make any last-minute trades, the result of this game is very gratifying. Sabean believes the Giants have the manpower to make the playoffs and I do too.
Let’s see if they can make it three in a row tomorrow night. Who knows? It could start a trend.