Good gravy. It was like a "Twilight Zone" episode. A "Star Trek" from days past. Were the A’s the ones wearing the goatee, or was it us the whole time? That was some sweet staring-into-the-abyss action. They couldn’t hit. We couldn’t hit. Their manager was driving their fans nuts. Ours was driving us nuts. Our incompetent lefty was put in a crucial spot, their incompetent lefty was ...
... made the de facto closer? Oh. I see.
And so it went, down the line. The A’s are the Giants are the A’s are the Giants. It was a Möbius strip wrapped around an Escher print, and we were never going to be able to leave. It was good pitching against hitting that didn’t usually do well against bad pitching.
See, Trevor Cahill is supposed to be good. He’s probably my favorite pitcher to watch who isn’t a Giant. I wrote a little love letter, I did. The sinker is a technicality of a pitch -- everyone gets hung up on fastballs and breaking balls that break a foot, but the sinker is some weird, unholy compromise that mixes the best of both. Cahill has it, and he’s, like 17. Love that guy.
But he was matched tonight by Ryan Vogelsong. Ryan Vogelsong. That guy was a prospect a long, long time ago. And he’s here. And there’s no reason he should be good. He was awful in Pittsburgh, he was meh in Japan, and he was pretty bad in the Pacific Coast League. Even Andres Torres -- outlier of the century -- had a sweet year in Iowa before he was Andres Torres, World Champion Leadoff Hitter. There is nothing nothing nothing that suggests that Vogelsong should be doing what he’s doing.
Yet, strike one. Two-strike pitches on the corner. High fastballs when high fastballs are called for. He’s doing pitcherly things when they’re called for. Again, if his name were Randall Vongersang, we’d have a much easier time with this. We’d look at the peripherals, look at how he’s pitching, shrug, and say, "cool." This guy can stick. He’s unexpected, but you can’t argue with results.
Now we’re starting to get to the point where we need to stop twitching at his minor-league numbers and start figuring out if this is the real Vogelsong. Because this seven-game stretch is about as good as anything we’ve seen from Barry Zito. Maybe Zito’s the better bet to be a league-average pitcher going forward, but the conviction behind that clause is fading after every Ryan Vogelsong start. ‘Cause Vogelsong has been good, and not in the weird, K/BB ratio of 22/22 kind of way. He’s just been ... good. It's disconcerting, yet completely welcome. Ainsworth, Foppert, Williams ... Vogelsong!
Also of note: Freddy Sanchez also picked up 1.0 WAR today. Good on him. And the throw from Schierholtz was one of the best I’ve ever seen. I like when the Giants win.