Apparently Bruce Bochy has picked Ryan Vogelsong to pitch game 3 of the playoffs for the Giants against the Reds. Not Tim Lincecum, not Barry Zito. If the Giants lose tonight, they’ll go with Ryan Vogelsong to save their season.
I don’t get it. If you are saying to Lincecum that he hasn’t performed this year, and hasn’t been hot at the end, then ok. But if that’s the case, then go with Barry Zito, the hottest pitcher on the team the last couple of months. Also, Zito has been effective against the Reds, a team with a lot of left-handed power hitting that he neutralizes.
But if Bochy isn’t going with Zito, go with Lincecum. Especially if they are down 2-0, on the road, go with a guy who has showed big game performances–not just in 2010 but in the last couple of months this year–and has the potential to turn the season around. Vogelsong is just uninspiring; workmanlike, consistent, and a 6 inning pitcher. Meh.
I wonder if Barry Zito was thinking back to being left off the roster in 2010 when Aubrey Huff and his .192 batting average got the opportunity to pinch hit last night.
Addendum, written with the score 9-0 Reds: Bochy’s decision not to start Lincecum didn’t decide this series, and the Giants might even still rally, as life-less as they look in these first two games. I’m not even that upset–the Giants winning in 2010 was such a surprise because their hitting was as bad then as it is now. The Giants hitting is always terrible, except when guys are on PEDs or when terrible hitters like Juan Uribe are somehow hitting everything in sight, (or when their name is Buster). (And if I may say, while in the middle of a rant fueled by a 9-0 deficit, that I don’t care how many PEDs Barry Bonds did, he deserves everything he accomplished because the Giants never had anyone hitting behind him in the lineup. Benito Santiago doesn’t count!)
The Giants have been exciting for the last decade primarily because of two guys–first Barry Bonds, and then Tim Lincecum. There were other guys who were part of a great support cast–JT Snow, Brian Wilson, Kung fu Panda–and maybe Buster Posey will continue to emerge as the next great one. But Lincecum won the cy young in 2008 and 2009 which turned a team around suffering from Bonds-fatigue. His performances in the 2010 playoffs were electrifying. He’s been a huge big game pitcher, even this year when he’s had often terrible stuff. I just don’t get not starting him in the playoffs. As a fan, I was let down when he was left out of the rotation, and I can see that my letdown has impacted the team’s performance. There is no life to them.
Does Lincecum’s not getting a starting role in the playoffs this year mean he leaves next year as a free agent? I’m listening to KNBR guys talking about the Red Sox comeback. You know things are bad when people are using the example of the Red Sox winning 4 straight against the Yankees.
To make me feel better, I started reading about the Celtics big win against Milan. Jared Sullinger is off to a good start. And then there’s this from Chris Forsberg at ESPN Boston:
DARKO MAKING A BIG IMPACT
Darko Milicic was outstanding while chipping in two points, nine rebounds, four blocks, and three assists. We know he can use his size on the defensive end, where he’s been swatting everything that comes his way during this overseas trip. But offensively he’s shown an ability to create for teammates in the high post off screens and pick-and-rolls.