Ryan Vogelsong's 2014 start is looking quite a bit like his rough beginning to 2013. The difference could be that he might not have as long of a leash this time around.
The embattled right-hander looks to straighten things out Wednesday night in San Francisco while spelling a taxed bullpen as the Giants try for a fourth win in five games against the Los Angeles Dodgers.Vogelsong (0-0, 8.00 ERA) has allowed eight earned runs in nine innings, and the Giants (9-5) will be hoping for an extended outing after using their entire bullpen in Tuesday's 3-2 win in 12 innings to start the three-game series.Another abbreviated outing could give manager Bruce Bochy reason to begin reconsidering his spot in the rotation, which wasn't a given entering the season, if he keeps it up."I felt better the last couple innings," Vogelsong told the team's official website after allowing four runs on seven hits in five innings of a 6-5 loss to Arizona on Thursday. "Still not as crisp as I'd like to be, though."His first start came against the Dodgers on April 4. In three outings against them since the start of last season, he has an 8.59 ERA.Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe, who is 7 for 14 in his last three games with home runs in consecutive games and a .379 season average, is 6 for 14 against Vogelsong.Los Angeles (9-5) saw a five-game road winning streak come to an end after closer Kenley Jansen blew his second save in five tries and fellow reliever Brandon League allowed a walkoff single to Hector Sanchez in the bottom of the 12th to score Brandon Crawford.Crawford went 2 for 5 with an RBI to extend his hitting streak to seven games. He's batting .400 in that span, and despite the consistent hitting, San Francisco plans on keeping him where he is at the No. 7 spot in the lineup."I've got some pretty good guys up there right now," Bochy said of the top of his lineup. "I like him where he is now, behind (Michael) Morse."Dodgers starter Paul Maholm is also trying to prove his worth on Don Mattingly's staff and work his way into a regular spot in the rotation. Maholm (0-1, 8.10 ERA) hasn't started since taking the loss on April 5 against the Giants, allowing five runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. He's made three relief appearances, last allowing a run in an inning of Saturday's win at Arizona.Mattingly acknowledged Maholm's changing role is likely a difficult one to prepare for."He's been the guy yanked around more than anybody of the starters," Mattingly told the team's official website after the left-handers last start. "He showed he can get outs and be OK."He's lost three straight starts against the Giants and is 0-3 with a 5.79 ERA in six career starts at AT&T Park.Pablo Sandoval is 6 for 16 with two home runs off Maholm.Hunter Pence went 3 for 6 Tuesday and is 7 for 21 after starting the season 4 for 36. Brandon Belt went 3 for 5 and is batting .400 against the Dodgers since Sept. 14.Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez's home run streak ended at four games, but he extended his hitting streak to 10.
Ryan Vogelsong has allowed an opponents' batting average of .538 in at-bats ending on pitch down in the zone or below, highest in MLB this season while throwing 42 percent in the zone. Dee Gordon (10-for-26) and Adrian Gonzalez (10-for-29) are both hitting over .400 in those situations.