San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong proved in 2012 his 2011 season was no fluke displaying his talents all season being mister consistent for the club most of the season.
Coming off a 13-7 record with a 2.71 ERA the previous year, Vogelsong was looking for an even better season this time around. Things didn't start out so well for him sustaining a strain back injury in spring training causing him to miss time and the start of the season. He made his first start on April 16 losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates even though he pitched well enough to earn a win. He went 6.1 innings giving up four hits, two runs and seven strikeouts. That outing began a 21-game streak in which Vogelsong pitched at least six innings for the club allowing the Giants bullpen to rest in his starts. His streak ended on August 13 getting destroyed by the Washington Nationals going 2.2 innings allowing nine hits and eight runs throwing just 62 pitches. Vogelsong was leading the National League at the time in ERA and he struggled mightily in his next six starts going 2-4 with a 10.31 ERA.
He rebounded nicely in his last three regular season starts beginning on September 21 against the San Diego Padres going six innings yielding five hits, one run and striking out four. Vogelsong went 14-9 during the season with a 3.37 ERA allowing 171 hits, 71 earned runs, 17 homers and 158 strikeouts with opponents batting .242 in 189.2 innings.
Vogelsong carried that momentum into the postseason going 3-0 in four starts defeating the St. Louis Cardinals twice in Games 2 and 6 of the National League Championship Series as the team won all of his starts. He showcased a 1.09 ERA surrendering 16 hits, three runs and 21 strikeouts as the opposition batted .182 in 24.2 innings. He even connected with a hit and drove in an RBI in the postseason.
He finished the year including the postseason allowing just one earned run or less in his last seven starts and became the fifth pitcher to allow one run or less in four straight postseason games. Curt Schilling of the Arizona Diamondbacks back in 2001 was the last pitcher to accomplish that feat.
The Giants went 23-12 in Vogelsong's outings this year showing everyone he will be a fixture in the teams starting rotation for the next few years. Since 2011, he is 30-2 when the Giants score at least two runs for him.
It's been an incredible journey for Vogelsong who overcame injuries and hardships throughout his career culminating with a championship in 2012. The look on his face will be priceless next year when he receives his championship ring showing everyone that anything is possible in life.
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