Vogelsong’s storybook career about to get new chapter

AP File PhotoBringing it home: Giants right-hander Ryan Vogelsong will start his first playoff game at AT&T Park today for the Giants.

AP File PhotoBringing it home: Giants right-hander Ryan Vogelsong will start his first playoff game at AT&T Park today for the Giants.

As if Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong’s story wasn’t heartwarming enough after returning to the big leagues last year following a five-year stint overseas, the 35-year-old right hander sparkled in his first career playoff start last week and will start today’s Game 2 of the NLCS.

Vogelsong said his first experience with the postseason wasn’t what he expected.

“Surprisingly, I wasn’t nervous,” he said Sunday. “And that worried me a little bit because in the past when I’ve been in some not-quite-as-big games as that … the nerves are usually good.”

Strange as it may sound, Vogelsong overcame the lack of nervousness to throw five innings of one-run ball against a tough Cincinnati Reds lineup in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark.

Now the return to AT&T Park provides some extra comfort for Vogelsong.

“I definitely feed off the energy that this crowd brings,” he said. “I’m sure it’s going to be pretty intense. … It’s pretty intense on a regular-season game here in the middle of June, so Monday night should be extra energetic.”

New face at first base: Giants first base coach Roberto Kelly was absent from Sunday’s game after being struck in the head by a ball during Saturday’s batting practice at AT&T Park. Assistant batting coach Joe Lefebvre took in Kelly’s absence.

Manager Bruce Bochy said Kelly was resting at home after not sleeping much Saturday night and would miss at least the first two games of the series. He said the team would like to have Kelly evaluated by team trainer Dave Groeschner, though he hadn’t arrived by the time Bochy spoke to media before the game.

Bochy said he wasn’t worried about Lefebvre’s ability to do the job.

“He’s got some experience,” Bochy said. “He’s been coaching in the big leagues. He’s been here all year.”

Former Giants out in support: Will Clark, who was the last Giant to hit a grand slam in the postseason before Buster Posey did it in Cincinnati on Thursday, was on hand to throw out the first pitch Sunday. He wasn’t the only former Giant on hand to root for their former team, however. Both Andres Torres and Benito Santiago were spotted in the seats behind home
plate.

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