The first half of Ryan Vogelsong's 2011 season with the San Francisco Giants was incredible, leading the NL in ERA, losing only one game and making the All-Star team for the first time ever. But since that magical weekend for Vogey it's been a much bumpier ride as he tries to regain his lights-out form, starting Thursday with the Houston Astros.
Vogelsong (10-3 2.47 ERA) is 1-2 with a 4.12 ERA in his last three starts, but is still having an outstanding year; especially when a 4-2 record with a 3.12 ERA since the break is considered a drop in your stats. He's making his second start against the Astros in a row, as he gave up five runs with four walks in seven innings of work. He'll be looking to improve on those numbers this time around, and with some experience against these hitters under his belt while taking the mound at AT&T (6-2 1.82 ERA at home) should play into his hand tonight. He is 2-1 with 2.52 ERA for his career against Houston.
Countering Vogelsong is former Giants prospect Henry Sosa (0-2 6.35 ERA) making his third start for the Astros this year, while pitching on three days rest as well. He threw only five innings with 75 pitches on Sunday against the Giants, so the team felt he was ready to go as their rotation is a bit shorthanded.
Losers of 17 of their last 25 games, The Giants haven't won a series opener in their last 10 tries, with the last coming July 18 against the Dodgers. Still two games back of the D'backs in the division, needless to say the Black and Orange need a win tonight.
First pitch is set for 7:15 pm PT this evening with coverage on NBC Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.