The Cove
Deep coverage of the Giants

Bright Spot: Ryan Vogelsong's Emergence

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    NEWSLETTERS

    There wasn't all that much to love about the Giants' effort in repeating as World Series champions, but Ryan Vogelsong did have a hell of a season.

    On Monday night, RyVo delivered yet another performance that, prior to this season, wouldn't possibly be associated with his name.

    The Giants won and while it doesn't exactly bring back all the previous losses that cost the team a shot at repeating as World Series champions, it does make sense to pause and reflect on the year Vogelsong had.

    At the age of 33, Vogelsong somehow managed to put together a 13-win season in which he posted a 2.71 ERA and struck out 139 batters over the course of 179.2 innings.

    He made the freaking All-Star team and thus endeared himself to Giants fans the world over.

    “It’s awesome," Vogelsong said about the fans following Monday's performance. "They’ve been great all season. It’s not the fact that they’re just here; they’re into the game, and they understand what’s going on.

    "It helps. It makes you want to take your game to the next level. They definitely have an influence on us when we’re in this stadium. It’s one of the great things about being a Giant, playing here in the stadium with these fans.”

    Vogelsong began his career as a Giant in 2000, pitching a year and a half of unspectacular baseball for San Francisco before being shipped to Pittsburgh as part of the Jason Schmidt trade.

    We've certainly chronicled his surprising success before, but it warrants mentioning that he's also looking to build on his breakout at this unlikely age.

    “It’s good, you know? It’s going to be a good offseason," Vogelsong said about being part of this team. "I’ve got a lot of positive things to take from this year, but at the same time, I’ve got some work to do. I can improve, and I’ve got a lot of motivation to come back and do this again and not be the one-hit wonder. I know — not so much you (reporters), but I’ve heard the things through the season, `It’s going to end,’ and `He’s a fluke,’ and that stuff drove me all year to keep it going.

    "And it’s going to drive me through the offseason so I’m not a one-hit wonder.”

    Whether or not Vogelsong can repeat 2010 remains to be seen. Even though he wasn't a fluke or lucky by any stretch of the imagination, it's going to be hard to pull off.

    But at the very least, he was one of the few bright spots on a 2010 Giants team that ultimately found themselves coming up short of their goal.