After holding the Cardinals scoreless over seven innings on August 8, Ryan Vogelsong had lowered his ERA to a National League-leading 2.27.
Since then, he’s been one of the worst starters in baseball.
Vogelsong lasted just five innings in Monday’s loss to the Rockies, allowing four runs on six hits, with one of those hits being a home run by pitcher Alex White. Over his woeful six-outing stretch, the right-hander has given up 28 runs over 25 1/3 innings while recording just one quality start. He surrendered three home runs in that outing.
When asked about what he could do differently in order to have better results, Vogelsong didn’t mince words.
"Stop being bad,” said Vogelsong in the San Jose Mercury News. “I'm costing us games right now and I'm not real happy about it."
Catcher Buster Posey was also unable to explain Vogelsong’s struggles.
“It’s tough to say because his stuff is definitely there,” Posey said. “I don’t know – I’m kind of at a loss. The stuff is there and the velocity is there. He’s throwing the ball as well as ever, I feel like.”
Vogelsong will attempt to bounce back this weekend in Arizona. The D’Backs lit up the righty for six runs over 3 1/3 innings two starts ago.
So Long, Puma
Lance Berkman won the National League Comeback Player of the Year award last season after batting .301/.412/.547 with 31 homers and 94 RBI. He’ll end the 2012 campaign with the same number of games played as he had longballs last year.
Berkman will undergo surgery on his right knee Tuesday. It’s a procedure that will end his season, and possibly his career, as Puma has said previously that he’s leaning towards retirement. It’s hard to blame him, as the knee surgery will be his sixth, and fourth on his right knee. He looked noticeably hobbled after returning on September 1.
If Berkman’s career is indeed over, it will conclude with 360 home runs and an even 1,200 RBI to go along with a terrific .296/.409/.544 batting line. The numbers probably aren’t quite good enough to get the six-time All-Star into the Hall of Fame, but he was undoubtedly one of the best hitters of his era and one of the better switch-hitters of all-time.
National League Quick Hits: It appears that Roger Clemens will not be returning to the majors this season. Astros owner Jim Crane didn’t rule out the possibility Monday, but Clemens has no interest in coming back for a late-season appearance against a non-contender ... Chris Carpenter (neck, shoulder) threw a 70-pitch simulated game Monday. He said afterwards that he “absolutely” felt ready to rejoin the Cardinals’ rotation now, but the team will let him stretch out to 90 pitches in another simulated game Saturday ... Corey Hart has been diagnosed with an injury to the plantar fascia in his left foot. The Brewers are calling him day-to-day, but if Hart returns to the lineup soon, he’ll likely have to play through some discomfort ... Carlos Quentin left Monday’s game with a sore right knee. It’s the same knee that he had surgery on earlier this year and the same one that caused him to miss three games last week. He seems likely to sit out at least a game or two ... Kyle Kendrick kept it rolling Monday, tossing seven innings of one-run ball in a win over the Marlins. He hasn’t given up more than two runs in any of his last six starts ... Jake Westbrook (oblique) will miss at least one start and likely at least two. He’s expected back later this month, though ... Andrelton Simmons was activated from the DL Monday and went hitless in a loss to the Brewers. He had been sidelined since early July with a fractured right pinkie finger ... The Phillies on Monday called up Darin Ruf, who hit 38 homers at Double-A this season. He could see some starts down the stretch, but with the Phils suddenly somewhat in the playoff picture, it remains to be seen.
American League Quick Hits: Brandon McCarthy is expected to be released from the hospital soon. He was able to walk down a hallway Monday and also went up and down four steps. Coming back from surgery last Wednesday to relieve pressure from his brain, McCarthy will not return to the A’s this season, but it’s great to hear that he’s doing well ... Mark Teixeira is expected to be sidelined 10-14 days after an MRI showed an "irritation" of his Grade 1 left calf strain. Teixeira aggravated the injury in his first game back Saturday ... Jose Quintana was brilliant Monday, holding the Tigers to one run over 7 2/3 innings while recording seven strikeouts. The surprising left-hander now boasts a 3.52 ERA and 1.26 WHIP on the season ... Jered Weaver will rejoin the Angels’ rotation Thursday after completing a successful bullpen session Monday. He hasn’t pitched in over a week due to right biceps tendinitis and a tender shoulder ... Gavin Floyd will rejoin the White Sox’ rotation on Wednesday. The right-hander hasn't pitched since August 26 due to a flexor strain in his right elbow ... The Orioles are reportedly interested in the Phillies’ Juan Pierre. He would not be eligible for the O’s postseason roster, but he would give them some depth in the wake of the Nick Markakis injury ... Adam Dunn reported "marked improvement" with his strained right oblique on Monday, though he has yet to resume swinging a bat. The White Sox had been expecting him to miss all of the Tigers series, but perhaps that won’t be the case.