Vogelsong Returns To Pittsburgh, Beats Bucs As Giants Take Game And Series

By Chad Carlson
Photo Credit: AP
After great performances by Charlie Morton and James McDonald the past two days, the Pirates handed the ball to Jeff Karstens this afternoon for their rubber match of the series against the San Francisco Giants.  The defending World-Series champs sent former-Pirate (aren’t they all?) Ryan Vogelsong to the mound, which was his first start in almost seven years. 
As most Bucco fans could probably assume, Vogelsong pitched a tremendous game this afternoon against the Pirates.  He struck out eight batters, while only giving up two runs on four hits through his 5.2 innings of work.  His solid start, phenomenal bullpen work, as well as key Pirates’ mistakes, enabled the Giants to take the game, and the series, this afternoon by a final score of 5-2 at PNC Park.
Pittsburgh got on the board in the first inning, and that point, it looked as though it would be a rough one for the former Pirates’ pitcher.  With two outs in the first frame, Lyle Overbay drew a walk, and scored on Neil Walker’s double to deep left center.  The Pirates had the chance to score more, but with runners on first and third, Ryan Doumit wasn’t able to bring them home, ending the inning.
The big inning, which also turned out to be the difference in the game, was the third, as the Giants took advantage of a fielding error by Overbay and a throwing miscue by Doumit.  Aaron Rowand had a huge two-run double, scoring Mike Fontenot and Eli Whiteside.  After Pablo Sandoval grounded into a fielder’s choice, beating out a play at first and avoiding a double play while allowing Vogelsong to score, he and Rowand used the double-steal to score the Giants’ fourth run of the inning.
The rest of the afternoon was rather uneventful from an offensive standpoint.  The Pirates had opportunities to cut into the lead on multiple occasions.  In the fourth inning, they had runners on second and third with only one out, but Vogelsong struck out Pedro Alvarez and Brandon Wood to end the threat and the inning.
History repeated itself in the sixth inning, when Wood struck out to end the frame with two runners on base.  The Pirates did tally one run that inning on Doumit’s ground-ball sacrifice to first, allowing Walker to score.
Brian Wilson closed the game out for the Giants.  After walking the first batter of the inning, he went on to strike out the side, earning his seventh save of the season, helping Vogelsong with his first of the year, as the Giants took the rubber match from the Pirates.
This game was unbelievably frustrating from a Pirates’ fan’s viewpoint.  Vogelsong pitched a strong game, but the Pirates’ batters needed to come through with more than four hits, three of which came from Walker.  The only other hit the Buccos could muster was Garrett Jones’ single.  Andrew McCutchen, Jose Tabata, and Alvarez combined to go 0-12 today.  McCutchen’s and Alvarez’s batting averages are even at .202 a piece.
Luckily, the Pirates, and us fans, don’t have time to sit around and dwell on this pathetic performance (which included four errors by the defense), as the club jumped on a plane shortly after the game today and are heading to Colorado to take on the Rockies for a weekend series.  The Rockies took three out of four games from the Pirates earlier this year during the Buccos’ first home stand of the season.  Kevin Correia will get the start in tomorrow night’s game for Pittsburgh.
Record Vs. Giants: 1-2
Record Vs. N.L. West: 2-5
Record At Home: 4-8
Overall Record: 11-14
As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!

Chad Carlson

Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands, Pirates' Beat Writer For Armchair Report, Sports writer for AMN, SteelTownRock And Music City Encore Editor

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