San Francisco, CA – After getting beat badly in Arizona, it’s clear the Giants hopes for another playoff run is over. In the meantime they will finish in second place in the National League West. But before the curtain closes there’s one thing left to do, salute the fans.
The Cinderella story that has followed Ryan Vogelsong throughout the season ended with a gracious bow in front of a sellout crowd. San Francisco’s 3-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies was for the fans. The atmosphere which is no different than the post season always ignites the game and the players.
“I heard the rumors of being a one-hit wonder and that drove me this season,” Vogelsong said. “My whole mentality was to finish strong for the fans. The great thing about being a Giant is playing in this stadium.”
He finished with a 13-7 record and a 2.71 ERA. Ryan’s story book season came with many achievements. He made his first MLB All-Star Game and won the Willie McCovey Award while having a remarkable season for his first year as a Giant.
“He looked very determined to have a great outing in his last one,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “What a great way to end a storybook season. He makes the All-Star team and he’s just been so good for us. We had a couple starters go down, and to have him available, we know how fortunate we are.”
San Francisco’s offense backed him with the run support needed to start the series off right for the final homestand. Mike Fontenot’s two-run triple gave the Giants a 2-0 lead over the Rockies in the third inning. Brett Pill added on in the eighth with a sacrifice fly for the 3-1 lead.
Vogelsong threw seven shutout innings allowing four hits, no walks and struck out four in his last outing on a season that no one would have predicted back in April. For all the twists and turns his career has taken, and for all the things that have gone wrong this season for the Giants, Ryan was one of the few success stories.
“I’ve tried to play start to start throughout the whole season and tried not to dwell too much on the start before or everything else,” he explained. “I had a little bit of time during the All-Star Game to reflect on my accomplishments. But once I get home and melt down a little bit from the season, there’s going to be a lot of good thoughts. I’m probably going to realize how amazing it all is.”
In the third-inning, Vogelsong started with a line-drive single that bounced off the glove of Colorado’s first baseman Jordan Pacheco and into shallow right field. Andres Torres followed with a walk off right-hander Jhoulys Chacin and Fontenot scored both runners by blasting a triple into deep center field.
“We let opportunities get away. We did things to put ourselves in position to win the game,” said Rockies manager Jim Tracy. “But we let the game get away from us because of situations offensively.”
Sergio Romo gave up three hits and a run in the eighth, snapping his 21 2/3 scoreless-innings streak. San Francisco’s insurance run in the eighth came back-to-back with Pill’s sacrifice following Pablo Sandoval’s first career sacrifice bunt, against southpaw J.C. Romero.
Chacin gave up eight hits, one walk and struck out three. The free pass to Torres with two outs in the third proved costly, as it gave way to Fontenot’s triple, which ended up being all the offense the Giants would need.
“I have been trying not to think about mechanics and just focus on the glove,” Jhoulys said. “That’s the only thing I’ve been doing the last two outings. That’s helped me a lot. I’m going to keep doing that next year.”
Colorado struggled in key situations, Mark Ellis drove in the Rockies only run on a two-out single off Romo in the eighth, but Sergio struck out Dexter Fowler to end the threat. The Giants reliever Santiago Casilla pitched the final two outs of the ninth inning for his sixth save.
Written by: Malaika Bobino