Oct 9, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong (32) pitches during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds in game three of the 2012 NLDS at Great American Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE
While Barry Zito was announced as the Game 1 starter earlier today, we didn’t know the rest of the San Francisco Giants’ pitching rotation until this evening, when it was announced by the Giants.
So, who’ll be taking the hill and in what order for the orange and black? According to Bruce Bochy, it’ll be Zito, Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain. Yes – you read that right, Vogelsong, not Cain in Game 3, meaning if the series was to extend to the full seven games, it would be the storybook Vogelsong who starts the winner take all contest.
However, that’s not exactly as jaw dropping as some media members may (and will) make it seem. I mean, look – outside of Justin Verlander, there has been no arm better than Vogelsong’s during the postseason. Yes, Cain has more experience and although he’s won two postseason games and holds a very respectable 3.52 ERA through his four starts this postseason, Vogelsong has been better.
More than that – if the series is to extend to a Game 7, there is no tomorrow. If Vogelsong was to struggle early, Cain could come in and pitch on what would essentially be almost four days rest (given the travel day between Game 5 and 6) if need be. The bullpen, of course, would be there as well. The leash in an elimination game is about three inches long, so a struggling Vogelsong (or Cain, if he was given the start) wouldn’t be allowed to dig much of a hole. It’s more semantics, than anything.
It’s a testament to the Giants’ faith in Vogelsong, who’s been nothing short of amazing – but the flip flopping of Cain and Vogelsong isn’t much of an issue at all, despite what the media can (and will) say.