After a horrendous road trip where they went just 1-5, the San Francisco Giants were glad to head back to AT&T Park where they are 16-7 so far this season on Monday. Against the ailing Washington Nationals, the Giants were also glad to see Ryan Vogelsong pitching extremely well after struggling mighty over the beginning of the season.
Vogelsong’s great night ended with one swing of the bat, not by the Nationals, but by himself. While taking an at-bat in the bottom of the fifth inning, he tried to fight off an inside pitch. In doing so, the ball caught him in the right hand and the results of that are less than ideal for the Giants; Vogelsong has a fractured right hand and, according to early reports, will be out for six-to-eight weeks.
Before the injury, Vogelsong was dealing. Through five innings he had allowed just four base-runners on three hits and one walk. He also had yet to allow a run. Considering how awfully he has been pitching this season, that would easily qualify as his best outing of the season, even if it ended prematurely.
Including the win and nice outing from Monday, Vogelsong’s numbers this season have been abysmal. He has just a 2-4 record in nine starts and has pitched just 46.1 innings this season, meaning he’s lasting just over five innings per start. He also has the highest ERA of his career at 7.19 and a poor 1.73 WHIP. More troubling is that his walk rate is at 3.50 walks per nine innings and he’s allowing 2.14 home runs per nine innings.
The velocity on Vogelsong’s fastball has dropped under 90 miles per hour for the first time in his career and the results haven’t been pretty. Even before the injury, Vogelsong hasn’t seemed right this season. Though it’s unfortunate, perhaps his time on the DL and rehab will allow him to get things right and he will be much improved when he returns to action at full health.