The San Francisco Giants are following their formula for success: Pitch, play defense and scratch up just enough runs to win. It’s a simple formula, but it’s also a formula that has delivered two World Series trophies to the city of San Francisco over the past three years.
The Giants and their fans were reminded of this formula on Friday, when they raised the World Series champions flag on a beautiful afternoon in San Francisco.
As Andrew Baggarly noted in his Instant Replay of Friday’s game, the Giants are indeed getting some dominant pitching to start the season. The quartet of Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito has compiled 26 innings without yielding an earned run, which is a historical feat; they’re the only staff to post a 0.00 ERA through four games since the 1916 Milwuake Brewers.
Ryan Vogelsong will look to extend that streak to five games. High-pressure games are far from unfamiliar territory for Vogelsong, who pitched the Giants to a win in Game 6 of the NLCS against the St.Louis Cardinals.
In 16 career games (six starts) against the Cardinals, Vogelsong is 2-4 with a 6.51 ERA. Although, last year, he fared much better, pitching seven scoreless innings in one start regular season start, and he went 2-0 with a 1.39 ERA in the postseason against the Cards.
Vogelsong will oppose Shelby Miller, the Cardinals No.2 prospect according to MLB.com. Miller has six games of experience under his belt, but just one start (six innings pitched, seven strikeouts). He beat out Trevor Rosenthal and Joe Kelly for the final spot in the rotation in spring training.
- Through four games, the Giants are 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position. With two outs and runners in scoring position, they haven’t recorded a hit in six at-bats.
- Buster Posey and Marco Scutaro are a combined 4-for-28 this year. Scutaro’s only hit came on a bunt single against the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier in the week. Meanwhile, Posey doesn’t have an extra-base hit yet.
- Carlos Beltran is 4-for-11 off Vogelsong in his career with two doubles and a home run.
- Allen Craig, Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina are a combined 5-for-18 off Vogelsong in their respective careers
- Buster Posey will receive his 2012 National MVP award today.