While watching today’s game, I heard more than once the following factoid: “Today’s game marks the first time the Giants have scored more than six runs in a home game this year.” I heard Jon Miller say it on the radio. I heard Kruk and Kuip say it on the television. And yet, as crazy as that fact sounds, as it should sound, it really didn’t surprise me that much. For large stretches of this season the Giants have hit like the Padres with a serious medical condition that prohibits them the use of their arms, but worse. It’s really easy to get frustrated when you see the starting lineup and, oh, what’s that? Oh, that’s Aubrey Huff — he of .665 OPS. Or, hey look, Orlando Cabrera is hitting fifth for my favorite baseball team.
So when I hear stuff like “This is the first time the Giants have scored 4 runs since… ” I sort of squint at the television and mutter words under my breath … no offense makes me something something.
But then, blammo! Eight runs! Yay! You like runs, right? Here, have some runs. Now watch Orlando Cabrera hit a screaming double down the left field line to score two more runs. Hey, I think we should get some more runs. No-hitters, perfect games, a player hitting two home runs in an inning, the 2011 Giants scoring eight runs in a single game, why it’s all things that make baseball such a delightful and unpredictable sport.
My guess is that Orlando Cabrera will hit fifth for at least another 15 games after today. After all, you can’t argue with results and the Giants just scored eight runs with Caberera hitting fifth. That’s called science, nerd.
The other takeaway from today’s game was a pretty good start (6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO) from Vogelsong . The seven punch-outs were nice to see. Over Vogelsong’s last few games the strikeouts haven’t been there. He was coming off a one strikeout performance in six grueling innings against the Reds last time out.
Also, while three walks in six innings isn’t Maddux-like, it’s a pretty good sign for Vogelsong who’s seen his control slip some lately. He was in and around the zone for most of the game. Vogelsong’s great year is largely connected to his walk-rate, which for the most part, has been outstanding to league average.
Here’s a graph of Vogelsong’s walk-rate (by BB%) for this season.
Vogelsong probably isn’t a true talent 6% walk-rate pitcher, but if he can sniff around league average, I think he’s going to be valuable enough. Of course, I don’t really think anyone knows how Vogelsong’s control developed this season and it’s hard to say where he’ll end up at year’s end. If he hangs around an 8% walk-rate for the rest of the year, we should all be very, very thankful.
Oh, and best part for last: Giants back in sole possession of first place.