The San Francisco Giants (6-4) lost a tough one on Thursday night, falling to the Arizona Diamondbacks (4-8) 6-5 in the 10th inning. Coming off a Wednesday night loss in which Tim Lincecum got rocked for seven hits and seven runs in just four innings, the Giants needed a good outing from Ryan Vogelsong.
But Vogelsong did not have have his best stuff either, giving up two runs in the first inning and seven hits and four runs total, lasting just five innings. Vogelsong did, however, leave the ballgame with a lead and a chance for the win, but the Giants could not hold it, losing it in the eighth on a Pablo Sandoval throwing error that would eventually cost them the ballgame.
Now on a two-game losing streak, it is hard to believe that there will be many times when they are not fighting to avoid this very same streak every time the Lincecum and Vogelsong spots in the rotation arrive. In just 10 innings pitched, Lincecum has already given up 11 earned runs and four home runs. Him and his 9.90 ERA have shown absolutely nothing over the past two plus seasons to prove that he is worthy of his latest two-year, $35 million contract. In fact, the contract seems more like a ploy for the Giants front office to sell more jerseys because of Lincecum’s overhyped star status around the city of San Francisco.
As for Vogelsong, he has given up 14 hits and eight runs in just nine innings pitched so far. With a whopping 8.00 ERA, he hasn’t done much better than Lincecum. To his credit, he was able to settle down and get his team back in the game Thursday night, but he cannot expect his team to dig him out of an early hole every night. Debuting for the Giants in 2000, Vogelsong unsuccessfully bounced around the league as well as over seas until he finally found success back in San Francisco in 2011. His lifetime 4.56 ERA proves that he has had more bad years than not. While his strong comeback, 2011 All-Star appearance and 2012 World Series title are a great story, at 36 years old, maybe it is over.
In the Wild West, their rival Los Angeles Dodgers are spending millions of dollars on anything and everything. The Giants simply do not have time to sit back and wait for the bottom of their staff to come into form. They must make moves sooner, rather than later and take advantage of every winnable game. Thursday night at home was one of those games.
So without even getting into the now more than year long struggles of Matt Cain, what is the Giants backup plan? It is starting to look like they may need more than one and it’s not like they have a plethora of arms waiting on deck in their farm system. After all, they traded their top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler to the New York Mets for Carlos Beltran in a failed attempt to reach the 2011 postseason.
Current reliever Yusmeiro Petit is one option for the Giants. In his sixth season, he has 44 career starts and pitched well for the Giants last season, even coming within one-foot of a perfect game. But as a long term fix, who knows? As of now the Giants look like World Series contenders when Madison Bumgarner and Tim Hudson are on the hill, and a last place team when they are not.
Rumor is that there is a guy named Barry Zito out there “taking a year off.” Give him a call, Brian Sabean. Maybe he wants a job. Just kidding.
Commentary by Rich Peters
Guardian Liberty Voice Writer for the San Francisco Giants