Vogelsong gave up 15 ER against Cubs

Updated: April 21, 2004, 9:29 PM ET
Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- Pirates right-hander Ryan Vogelsong might have tipped his pitches while being roughed up by the Chicago Cubs in each of his last two starts.

Vogelsong was told in a phone call Wednesday -- he wouldn't say who called -- that the Cubs knew what was coming as he gave up 19 hits and 15 earned runs over eight innings in the consecutive losses.

"I can think of a couple of things off the top of my head that it is, but I'm not sure," said Vogelsong, whose best pitch is a moving fastball that has hit 96 mph this season. "I'm going to have to look at the tape and see what it is."

The right-hander gave up three homers in each loss, 9-1 in Pittsburgh on Tuesday and 8-3 in Chicago on April 14. The Pirates' best starter during spring training, he began the season by allowing one run in seven innings in a 6-2 victory over Philadelphia on April 8.

Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon wouldn't confirm Vogelsong was revealing what he was throwing, but said, "It's something that will be corrected the next time we play the Cubs."

Cubs manager Dusty Baker wouldn't acknowledge having inside information. However, Baker managed the Giants when Vogelsong was one of the team's top pitching prospects. Vogelsong was dealt to Pittsburgh in 2001 in the Jason Schmidt trade.

"I've known Vogey since he was a Giant, he was one of my favorite guys ... but I don't know nothing about it," Baker said. "If I did, I wouldn't tell you. But, honestly, I don't know about tipping."

Moises Alou, among several Cubs, said they prefer not to know what a pitcher is about to throw. Baker said it takes an experienced hitter -- he mentioned former major leaguers Reggie Smith and Joe Carter -- to be able to adjust to the information and react to it.

"Some guys didn't want to know, and for a long time I didn't want to know because if I knew, I'd swing," Baker said. "You have to be a certain age and have a certain concentration level to be able to handle doing that."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press