San Francisco Giants defang Diamondbacks behind Vogelsong
By Mark ONeill
For the second night in a row, the San Francisco Giants took advantage of superior starting pitching, scored five runs, and defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks, this time by a score of 5-0. Ryan Vogelsong pitched his staff-leading tenth quality start at AT&T Park, going six-and-two-thirds innings against the stubborn Snakes, before tuning the game over to the bullpen, who closed it out by retiring the final seven batters it faced.
Vogelsong gave up no runs on two hits, with five walks and three K’s, all of the strikeouts coming in the fifth inning. It was as different a performance as can be imagined from Yusmeiro Petit’s the night before, but when all was said and done, he ended up giving up one fewer run than Petit.
Vogelsong opened the game with a walk, but got out of it when Aaron hill hit into a 5-4-3 double play. A walk, a fielder’s choice, an infield hit and another walk set the table for the D-backs in the second inning, but Josh Collmenter grounded out to Pablo Sandoval at third and the ball reached first when Collmenter was about half way down the line.
Contrast the efficient thirteen pitches Vogelsong threw in the top of the first with the thirty pitches in the top of the second and you might have thought it was going to be a long night for Vogelsong. With two outs in the second inning, Duane Kuiper mentioned that Vogelsong had already thrown more balls, 16, in the first two innings than Yusmeiro Petit did the entire game on Tuesday night. Mike Krukow’s one-word assessment? “Torture.”
Vogelsong did not have a strikeout until the fifth and then he struck out the side. He allowed a total of seven base runners but after wriggling off the hook in the second inning, he did not allow two men on base until the seventh. It was another quality start from Vogelsong, who leads the Giants’ staff with ten quality starts at AT&T Park.
For the D-backs Josh Collmenter started and kept the Giants completely off balance for six innings, before he was removed for a pinch-hitter in the seventh. He did not allow a run, while giving up three hits and two walks and striking out three. He also nicked Sandoval on the hand to lead off the second inning. Coming into the game Collmenter was 3-0 lifetime against the Giants but he did not factor into tonight’s decision.
San Francisco Giants left fielder Gregor Blanco singled and doubled in tonight’s game. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
No sooner had Oliver Perez entered the game in the seventh when he found himself in trouble. He walked Hunter Pence to lead off the inning and then gave up a scorching drive right down the first base line into the corner to Gregor Blanco which scored Pence.
After striking out Travis Ishikawa, Perez allowed an infield single to Crawford and Kirk Gibson gave him the hook in favor of Evan Marshall.
Pinch-hitter Matt Duffy, batting for Jean Machi, who picked up the win for his two-pitch effort in the top of the seventh, followed Blanco’s example with a double down the right field line of his own, scoring Crawford. Duffy scored the final run of the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly by Angel Pagan. Perez was charged with three runs on two hits and took the loss; Marshall gave up one run on one hit.
The Giants added a fifth run in the eighth when Pablo Sandoval doubled high off the wall in Triples Alley and scored on a single by Ishikawa. The only Giant with more than one hit was Blanco who had a single in the fourth to go with his double. Joe Panic went hitless with a walk and Angel Pagan’s only hit resulted in his getting caught stealing when Instant Replay reversed the safe call he had originally been given.
The victory was the eleventh shutout of the year for the Giants, this one a combination of four pitchers. Jean Machi got Vogelsong out of his seventh inning jam, Jeremy Affeldt pitched a perfect eighth and Sergio Romo did the same in the ninth to give the series to the Giants.
Though the Dodgers also won in LA, the Giants maintain their two-and-a-half game deficit behind the NL West leaders, having now won twelve of their last fifteen games while they continue their late-season surge to the playoffs.
With the crucial showdown with LA beginning this Friday, it would be optimum if San Francisco could take the last game of the series, and welcome the Dodgers into AT&T Park only two games behind.
When you’re hot, you’re hot, and the Giants are blistering. They’re ready for action-they’re ready for danger and they’re ready to avenge the series sweep at the hands of LA back in July. The stakes are a lot higher now and the Giants are back on track. I’m feeling pretty good about our chances and I think you are too. Two out of three would work quite well.