LOS ANGELES — Ryan Vogelsong has actually only given up eight hits over his last two starts. Of course, six of them have been home runs …
“That’s probably not good, huh?” he said Wednesday night. “I don’t think frustrating is the word. The positive side is I know if I keep the ball in the ballpark, I’ll be alright. It’s a matter of getting the ball down better and mixing things up better.”
Bruce Bochy is choosing to look for positives, too. After Vogelsong gave up four homers in three innings and saw his ERA balloon to 9.31, Bochy said the right-hander will stay in the rotation.
“We need him right now,” Bochy said. “We have a couple pitchers on the DL. Hopefully he puts this behind him and gets back on track the way he did in his previous game. Right now, we need him. We’ll talk as always, but it’s tough when you’ve got two other starters on the DL. We need all these guys to hopefully pitch well and give us a quality start.”
[INSTANT REPLAY: Dodgers clobber Vogelsong, beat Giants 7-3]
With Matt Cain and Jake Peavy still weeks (and maybe more) away from returning and Chris Heston already in the rotation, Bochy has just one other card to play. For now, he’s sticking with Vogelsong over Yusmeiro Petit.
Vogelsong gave up two homers in his first start of the season and two last week at AT&T Park when he returned to the rotation against these Dodgers, but Bochy liked what he saw in that latter game. Vogelsong allowed just three hits that night and the Giants won the game.
“He’s coming off a good start and I was hoping to get him on a roll, and he’s earned that with the games he’s thrown for us,” Bochy said.
That resume includes plenty of postseason nights when Vogelsong was the star. In 37 October innings for the Giants, Vogelsong has allowed just one homer. The Dodgers got three blasts from their first six batters on Wednesday.
“He was just up today,” Bochy said. “All his pitches were elevated. He lived in the nitro zone and they took advantage of it. He didn’t give up that many hits. Unfortunately they were all home runs.”
Vogelsong said he didn’t think all his pitches were up or even that far off, but he was missing spots. He said he would figure out what the precise problem is.
“They weren’t terrible pitches,” he said. “Just not as good as they needed to be.”
Vogelsong wasn’t as good as he needed to be on this night, and he didn’t even need to be his former All-Star self to beat Zack Greinke. The Dodgers right-hander came in with a 1.35 ERA but gave up seven hits and three runs in six innings of a start that would have been much worse if not for Andre Ethier’s diving catch that saved two runs. Asked if he was disappointed that he didn’t give the Giants a better effort on a night when Greinke was there for the taking, Vogelsong shook his head.
“I’m not disappointed,” he said. “I’m pissed off about it. He definitely wasn’t on top of his game, but to his credit he stayed in and did what he needed to do.”