Ryan Vogelsong Remains Hot as San Francisco Giants Blank Dodgers

Michael ManbertContributor IIJuly 19, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 18: Ryan Vogelsong #32 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning during an MLB baseball game at AT&T Park July 18, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

By: Michael Manbert

As was the case for Tim Lincecum, Ryan Vogelsong was considered a questionable All-Star selection this year.

Despite sporting a 6-1 record with a 2.17 ERA, many fans thought that Vogelsong, who made his first major league start since 2004 after having pitched in Pittsburgh and Japan, respectively, was having a fluke year due to the fact that he had started just 14 games on the season.

The journeyman may have finally found his home.

Vogelsong was again dominant Monday night as he threw 6 2/3 innings of scoreless ball and struck out five.

In a demonstration of absolute precision, Vogie (as he is affectionately referred to by his teammates and coaches) surrendered just one walk on the night, and lowered his ERA to a ridiculous 2.02...now tops in the National League.

The game was scoreless into the fourth, when Pablo Sandoval hit yet another splash-shot into McCovey Cove, his ninth on the season. Sandoval finished the night 3-for-4 with the aforementioned homer and two singles. In doing so, he raised his average to a team-best .309.

Entering the sixth inning with a 1-0 lead, the defending world champs would break the contest open. Nate Schierholtz and Brandon Crawford (who entered the game when Miguel Tejada left with an abdominal strain) each had RBI singles, and Cody Ross had a two-RBI double that found the gap and rolled to the wall in right-center field.

The Giants bullpen would combine for 2 1/3 scoreless innings to finish what Vogelsong started in dominant fashion.

Final score? 5-0, Giants.

The San Francisco Giants improve their record to 56-41 on the season while the Dodgers see their record fall to an abysmal 42-54, just one game ahead of the basement-dwelling San Diego Padres.

The Giants are 8-2 in their last 10 games, and will look to remain hot in San Francisco at 7:15 PT, as Madison Bumgarner will take the hill against Dodgers starter (and rookie) Rubby De La Rosa.

Michael Manbert is a reporter for SFGiantsInsider.com.