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Have a game, Ryan Vogelsong. Have a season!

June 5, 2011

“Obviously, Vogey is not going anywhere.”
~Bruce Bochy on Ryan Vogelsong 

Twenty-two days and twenty-five innings ago I wrote a post titled It’s Hard Not to Believe in Ryan Vogelsong. It was after the shortened game against the Cubs, which was scored as a complete game shut-out. Vogelsong finished that game with a 2.36 ERA and 3.00 K/BB in 26.2 innings.

I will admit now, that despite the title, I wrote that post rather quickly. Not because I was in a hurry, but because I was afraid that if I waited too long, the magic would end. The numbers on Fan Graphs and Baseball Reference would skyrocket right in front of my eyes. Here was a guy coming off a season in which he walked the world and couldn’t keep runs off the board in triple A. Those 26.2 innings of dominant Major League pitching were a fantastic story all on their own, but they were just that, a story.

The story is over now, but not because the magic left. We’ve got 53.2 innings, a 1.68 ERA, and a 3.00 K/BB. We’ve got ridiculous standing ovations at AT&T park after ridiculously good outings. The story is over because Ryan Vogelsong isn’t a story anymore. Ryan Vogelsong is just good. Oh, he’ll still have a rough start now and again, or even a rough few starts. But they won’t be disappointing because the proverbial other shoe fell, they will be disappointing because a good pitcher, for a couple of hours, wasn’t good. They will be disappointing because we will have expected a gem, and not gotten one.

We’re sold, in other words. We still can’t tell you why Vogelsong is good, but Vogelsong is good. No more “if”s, not from us. No more flashing neon “SMALL SAMPLE SIZE” sign. Just Ryan Vogelsong being Ryan Vogelsong being Ryan Vogelsong being good.

The happy ending has come and gone. Now it’s just baseball. That’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it? Weclome home, Ryan, you aren’t going anywhere.

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