Zito, up against one of the best offenses the National League has seen in recent years, a lineup that’s been especially tough on left-handed pitching, more than held his own. For nearly eight innings, with everything on the line, he silenced the Cardinals on their own territory. Considering the match-up and what was at stake, it was probably the outing of his career.
And you could say the same about Ryan Vogelsong, who’s transformed into a postseason force to be reckoned with. Through four and two-thirds innings, he had a no-hitter going. He went on to allow one run in seven innings of work, just as he had done in the second game of this series. His nine strikeouts were a career high, and to top it all off, he only allowed one walk. I’m certain I’ve never seen Vogelsong dominate quite like he did last night.
Oh yeah, and for good measure, Zito and Vogelsong each drove in a run in their starts.
I can’t get over the craziness of all of this. Facing elimination, the Giants sent out Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong, both of whom delivered with spectacular pitching to keep the team’s World Series hopes alive. You know how weird that would’ve sounded a year and a half ago? Zito had been left off the postseason roster entirely in 2010, and Vogelsong a) hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2006, and b) was coming off a season in which he’d allowed nearly two baserunners an inning…in Triple-A.
This Giants team is doing some absolutely amazing things. With their backs against the wall in the NLDS, they fought back, nabbed three consecutive games, and advanced to the next round. And they’re on the brink of doing it again. This is unprecedented stuff.
Now, it’s World Series or bust. Whatever happens tonight, it’s been one hell of a ride. Here’s hoping it’s not over just yet. And with the Giants at home, sending Matt Cain to the mound, I have to say — I like them odds.
Should Barry Zito start in the postseason? « Bay City Ball – A Giants Blog
Nope, he shouldn’t. One can only hope Ryan Vogelsong sealed the deal in nabbing that playoff rotation spot with yesterday’s strong performance.
These Saber-Savvy San Francisco Giants | FanGraphs Baseball
“Talk to Bobby Evans, Vice President of Baseball Operations, and you get a sense of a team with a strong process that includes inputs from both the old and the new school of baseball. And this isn’t some sort of new phenomenon in San Francisco.”
50th anniversary: Game No. 165 | The Hardball Times
“Fifty years ago today, one of the greatest pennant races came to an end—with a game that was both great and greatly appropriate.”
Scouting Report: Giants Prospect Clayton Blackburn | Bullpen Banter
A scouting report on Giants pitching prospect Clayton Blackburn.
Let’s Talk About the Bullpen Instead – McCovey Chronicles
Do the Giants have a good playoff bullpen?
For NLDS, Reds’ lineup could be familiar | reds.com: News
“The Reds featured Wednesday vs. the Cardinals what could very well be the lineup they show the Giants in Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Saturday.”
Scouting Report Giants Prospect Kyle Crick | Bullpen Banter
A comprehensive scouting report on Giants prospect and Augusta GreenJackets pitcher Kyle Crick.
Bonds is right: No-doubt Hall of Famer – SweetSpot Blog – ESPN
It almost goes without saying, but Barry Bonds is deserving of Hall of Fame induction, and there’s no doubt about it.
In (Almost) Support of Lyle Overbay – McCovey Chronicles
Should the Giants sign Lyle Overbay? At first glance, no. At second glance, maybe. At third glance, no.
New Theory: Ryan Vogelsong is a wizard « Bay City Ball – A Giants Blog
Go for the Ryan Vogelsong analysis. Stay for the Brandon Crawford GIF.
Emerging star Melky and Giants agree to pick up contract talks after the year – CBSSports.com
Melky Cabrera and the Giants will put aside contract discussions for now, reports Jon Heyman.