Pablo Sandoval, for your excellent performance on the field and preparing for this season better than you ever had in your career, your manager Bruce Bochy has bestowed upon you one of the most distinguished honors one can bestow upon a baseball player, naming you to the 2011 All Star Team.
Let Pandamonium BEGIN!
With the late add of Panda due to the injury to Placido Polanco, the Giants now have five.. count em, FIVE! All Stars. Pablo of course being our lone position player along with pitchers Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Ryan Vogelsong and Brian Wilson.
And what better way to close out the first half of the season, than winning the last 2 games and the series against the NY Mets. Panda cemented his position on the All Star team with his 21 game hit streak going into the All Star break and Nate showed why he can be 'Great' at cleanup, going 4 for 4.
I'm so happy for all of our All Star's, but really none more than for Vogelsong.
His Giants career began in spring training in competition for the 6th starter position to beef up the Giants' shallow starting pitching depth in the organization. Although we have one of the best rotations in baseball, in the minors we only really had Zach Wheeler who isn't ready for a big league start yet. Vogelsong knew that his way back to the big leagues would be as an injury replacement and when Barry Zito went down, he got his shot.
But even after getting the call he got held up. After arriving at the ballpark to get ready for his first game back as a big leaguer since 2004, he was stopped by a security guard who did not see his name on either big league roster. Ryan had to dig into his bag to find an old baseball card from when he was on the Pirates to show the security guard, but even then he was not convinced.
Finally a Giants official radioed the overzealous guard and told him to let Ryan in. Vogelsong later related to Brian Murphy on the KNBR morning show, "I waited 5 years to get back to the big leagues, I might as well wait 15 more minutes."
Good things come to those who wait, and Vogelsong got more than he could have ever dreamed.
6-1 with 2.17 ERA at the break, 70 strikeouts and only 32 walks in a total of 91.1 innings.
Those numbers and his presence on the mound earned him a spot on this year's All Star Team in Bruce Bochy's mind, and it didn't really matter who else agreed because Bochy used his picks as the NL All Star Manager to pick Vogelsong, along with fellow rotation mates, Lincecum and Cain.
In fact the only pick that was criticized was picking Lincecum over some arguably more deserving candidates. Vogelsong with his stingy ERA was largely praised and cited as having one of the best stories of this 2011 season.
In his last game of the first half, Vogelsong did not manage to get the win, giving up only 2 runs over 7 innings of work, but what he did do, was pitch the required amount of innings necessary to be recognized as having the second best ERA in the National League and 4th best overall behind Jered Weaver and Justin Verlander of the American League and Jair Jurrjens of the National League.
Most of all, I'm glad I'll be watching him this season on the Showtime series, I'm sure he'll get plenty of worthy airtime. Meanwhile It'd be nice if Bochy could give him a batter or two to face on Tuesday's All Star Game.
Laws of the Day
1966 - the last time the Giants had 5 All Stars.
Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Jim Ray Hart, Tom Haller, Juan Marichal and Gaylord Perry