San Francisco, CA – Looks like Tim Lincecum is the lucky charm of the starting pitchers. Even after Ryan Vogelsong rubbed himself on Lincecum for good luck, the righty didn’t have the offense he needed to back his strong performance. He received zero runs for his second consecutive start.
The Giants were shutout 2-0 by the Cardinals to even the series. This was the seventh time this season San Francisco was shutout and the second time by St. Louis. Adam Wainwright tossed 7.2 scoreless innings allowing just four hits.
“I thought they battled me very tough all night long,” Wainwright said. “They took a lot of really close pitches and fouled off some tough pitches. They did a great job of getting my count up early.”
The Giants chased Wainwright off the mound when they tried to rally in the eighth. After the first two outs, Joe Panik hit a single followed by pinch-hitter Hector Sanchez’s single putting two on but Gregor Blanco popped out to end the threat.
Vogelsong was off to a good start until the third when the Cardinals scored two runs with one out after he loaded the bases. Oscar Taveras leadoff the inning with a double, Mark Ellis followed with a single and Vogelsong struck out Adam Wainwright.
“It doesn’t matter anymore about my stuff,” said Vogelsong when asked how he did. “It’s a loss. I’m tired of talking about stuff. It’s all about wins and losses now and getting into the playoffs.”
Matt Carpenter hit a RBI single and Matt Holiday followed with a RBI single to right field giving St. Louis a 2-0 lead. Carpenter went 3-for-4 and has now hit safely in 14 of 16 career games against San Francisco. Vogelsong forced the last two batters to hit into a fielder’s choice and ground out to end the inning.
“This isn’t the first time that he has righted the ship when we’re going through a rough patch and it won’t be the last,” Carpenter said. “He’s the guy we call on when we need a jolt, and he answered the bell today.”
Giants manager Bruce Bochy will finally move the leadoff position down the order and have Hunter Pence leadoff since he’s consistently gotten on base. Not sure why Bochy hadn’t made this move sooner but Blanco who replaced the injured Angel Pagan continues to struggle getting on base. When Brandon Belt returns this Friday, he will bat second.
“When Belt comes back, I’ll tweak the lineup a little,” said Bochy. “But still, we’ve got to get other guys going. It’s nice for guys to grind out at-bats, but its still all about putting men on base and creating chances. Somebody has got to come through.”