Vogelsong reports progress in start vs. Angels

Vogelsong reports progress in start vs. Angels

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Ryan Vogelsong's pitching line Monday didn't get tangled in his optimism.

Vogelsong's spring ERA remained at 9.00 after he was charged with four runs in four-plus innings as the Los Angeles Angels thumped the Giants, 11-4. But San Francisco's No. 5 starter felt encouraged by his ability to find both sides of home plate with his pitches and maintain a compact delivery.

"I feel like I made more progress today," said Vogelsong, who surrendered eight earned runs and 11 hits in 2 2/3 innings last Tuesday against Cleveland.

Vogelsong pled guilty to a common pitching malfeasance: trying to be too precise.

"I'm trying too hard to make really, really good pitches instead of doing what I did to get [ahead]," Vogelsong said.

Vogelsong blanked the Angels for three innings. He looked especially impressive while striking out Albert Pujols on a fastball to end the first inning and fanning Erick Aybar on a changeup to strand a pair of runners in the third. But Vogelsong permitted three runs in the fourth, as four consecutive Angels reached base safely after he had two outs with a runner on second base. Raul Ibanez smacked an RBI single, Howie Kendrick singled and Chris Iannetta walked. That loaded the bases for J.B. Shuck, who lashed a first-pitch, two-run double past first base.

The key to that inning was Iannetta's plate appearance, which lasted 10 pitches and taxed Vogelsong. Vogelsong believed he had recorded an inning-ending strikeout on pitch No. 9, but Iannetta was ruled to have checked his swing.

Vogelsong expressed surprise that Iannetta refrained from swinging at the next pitch, a tantalizing curveball.

"You have to give him some credit," Vogelsong said. "But it could have been a different-looking outing with that at-bat right there."

Manager Bruce Bochy agreed with Vogelsong's assessment of overall improvement: "For the first three innings, he was right on, hitting his spots."

Bochy also tried to quash any suggestion that Vogelsong's spot in the rotation might be in danger.

"I'm not going to talk about what we're going to do until we do talk about it," Bochy said, emphasizing that Vogelsong's status has not become an issue.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.