October 31, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcherRyan Vogelsong
(left, top) waves to the crowd while riding in a car during the World Series victory parade at Market Street. The Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers in a four-game sweep to win the 2012 World Series. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
What can you say about Ryan Vogelsong and his storybook that hasn’t already been said? I’ve heard a lot of feel good stories – but there’s no way Vogey and his journey isn’t near the top. From being banked on as a future high level starter to playing overseas and unable to make a Major League roster to becoming one of the better arms on one of the leagues best pitching staffs. It’s been a wild ride but one that doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
Many thought Vogelsong was nothing more than a one year wonder – we’ve all seen those types come and go. There’s that one anomaly of a season, but there was no way this former “bust” could come around in his mid 30’s, was there? Even Vogelsong at times said he questioned it himself, but the man never gave up his love for the game and continued to learn his craft. The result has been spectacular.
Coming into last season, everything around Vogelsong was suspect – even the Giants and their belief. I mean – how much do you invest in a guy who seemingly had one good year of pro ball and should be nearing the downside of his career? It’s one thing to have a good year but to replicate it? At this junction of his career? Unlikely. But that’s exactly what Vogelsong did. No, it wasn’t as sparkling as his 2011 campaign where he was essentially at Cy Young candidate level, but 2012 was still fantastic. At first glance, the ERA wasn’t anything special (though still very solid) at 3.37, but Ryan had three terrible starts during the year – pitching just 9.1 combined innings and giving up 20 earned runs in those starts. Outside of those, Vogey only gave up more than three runs in a start four times and gave up either 0, 1 or 2 runs in a start 18 times. Taking away those woeful starts, Vogelsong’s ERA dipped to an elite 2.54.
Not content with just a solid season though, Vogelsong seemingly dialed it up when the pressure became more intense, tossing 24.2 innings in the postseason, allowing just three earned runs en route to his three victories, none bigger than his Game 6 victory in the NLCS which forced Game 7.
It wasn’t the perfect season by any stretch, but Vogelsong was fantastic in every sense of the word. A few hiccups here and there ballooned his numbers a bit, but overall, few were more consistent across the league than Vogelsong.
Season Grade: A-