Skipper voices confidence in veteran, opposed to using Bumgarner on short rest
By Barry M. Bloom
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants are sticking with Ryan Vogelsong as their Game 4 starter in the World Series against the Royals on Saturday at AT&T Park, manager Bruce Bochy said after his club dropped a 3-2 decision in Game 3 on Friday night.
There had been some speculation that Bochy might opt for Game 1 winner Madison Bumgarner and that was the first question Bochy was asked in his postgame media session. Bumgarner's slated to start Game 5 on Sunday.
"Well, Vogelsong's going tomorrow," Bochy said after the Giants fell behind in the best-of-seven Series, 2-1. "He's done a pretty good job for us, so he's going to have his start tomorrow. Sure, we talked about other options, but there is a confidence we have in Vogey."
Vogelsong last started in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series against the Cardinals at AT&T Park and had the worst postseason start of his career. He was pulled after three innings, having allowed four earned runs on seven hits, including a homer by Kolten Wong. Despite trailing, 4-1, at the time of the right-hander's departure, the Giants came back to win the game, 6-4, and the series in five games.
Vogelsong said he was trying to make adjustments during that game.
"I was trying to adjust mechanically and I think that had something to do with my velocity," he said. "But at the same time there is adrenaline, no question. There is extra adrenaline. It's going to make you throw harder and do some things that you probably don't do on a normal Sunday afternoon in Milwaukee or Colorado. No offense to those cities, they just came to mind. But it's definitely a different adrenaline when you're in this stadium in a postseason game. It's different than an everyday regular-season game."
Bumgarner has pitched three brilliant games in his five starts this postseason, shutting out the Pirates in the NL Wild Card Game at Pittsburgh, plus winning Game 1 of the NLCS at St. Louis, and Tuesday night's first game of the World Series at Kansas City, having allowed one run on 11 hits in 23 2/3 innings across those three starts.
Bochy said before the game that there had been some discussion about pitching Bumgarner on three days' rest in Game 4 to have him available on the same amount of rest if the Series goes as far as a seventh game on Wednesday night back at Kauffman Stadium.
"Sure, we talked about it," Bochy said. "I mean, we discuss everything, all our options. We have ridden this guy pretty good. Doesn't mean he can't do it or won't do it. It's a little different in today's game with the Wild Card and then you have two other teams to go through. It's something that [pitching coach] Dave Righetti and I have discussed, but right now, Vogelsong is our starter."
The results of Friday night's game didn't alter Bochy's thinking.
"No, not at all," he said. "It's confidence in Vogey. ... It's been a long postseason, and [Bumgarner has] had a lot of starts. He's going to say he's available. That's who he is. It's not like he pushed real hard. If Madison pitched tomorrow, we're going to have to pitch somebody the next day.
"But getting back to what I talked about, it's our confidence in the guy we have going tomorrow. I don't think at this point we should push Madison either. Then you're going to ask him to go on another three days. So we're keeping things in order because of how well all of our starters have thrown. We have confidence in all these guys, including Vogey. It was a good ballgame tonight, but we're not going to change things because we lost."
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.