San Francisco Giants’ starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong has to feel a great sense of pride right now. He is a thirty five year old journeyman pitcher that has paid his dues. He has shuttled back and forth from the major leagues to the minors since 2000. Now, the Giants are one win away from their second World Series title in three years. Vogelsong combined with San Francisco pitcher Tim Lincecum to shut out the Detroit Tigers 2-0 in Game Three of the 2012 World Series.
In reference to Vogelsong retiring Tigers’ star third baseman Miguel Cabrera on a bases loaded pop up: “I was just trying to make a pitch, and the way we were playing defense, really just trying to get him to put a ball in play somewhere, because I had a good feeling we were going to catch it if he did.” That sounds like a veteran player who knows that reaching the World Series is a once in a lifetime opportunity that may never happen again. Vogelsong is living for the moment, and embracing it by pitching some of the best baseball not only of his life, but possibly in postseason history.
Those that think Vogelsong is riding the coattails of fellow Giant starters Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, and Barry Zito are sadly mistaken. Vogelsong’s 2012 postseason earned run average is 1.09, which is better than the 1.12 earned run average that Curt Schilling recorded pitching for the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks during that year’s playoffs.
Vogelsong first joined the Giants in 2000. He then became a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2001, before his back and forth journey that led him to the minor leagues (including a stint in Japan) from 2006 until 2011, when he rejoined San Francisco. Considering that he wasn’t a member of the 2010 World Series champion Giants team, the fact that he turned in his best performance in the World Series makes this journey all the more satisfying.
If the Giants can beat the Tigers within the next four games, it would be the storybook ending for Vogelsong’s season that every player in his situation dreams about.