DENVER There's no crisis of confidence for Ryan Vogelsong, even after his latest rough outing, Monday night's 6-5 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
"I'm fine I'm a battler," he said. "Look what I've been through. A couple of bad starts in a span of six isn't going to get me down. I've been through way too much in this game to let six not-good starts keep me from being where I want to be with this team."
A month ago, Vogelsong was where he has always wanted to be during a long, winding career. He was the ace of the staff, a bona fide Cy Young Award candidate. Now, Vogelsong is searching for answers, along with those around him.
Vogelsong, manager Bruce Bochy and catcher Buster Posey (who hit his 21st homer) all said the right-hander's stuff is fine, and Vogelsong maintains he's not hurt.
Nobody, however, has a solid answer for why a pitcher with a 2.27 ERA through his first 21 starts has a 9.57 ERA in his last six appearances.
"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 felt he was "just missing location," and it cost him dearly, especially early in Monday's game at Coors Field.
The Rockies had three hits in the first inning while taking a 2-0 lead.
Hunter Pence homered in the top of the second, but Vogelsong gave the run back in the bottom of the inning in frustrating fashion.
Opposing pitcher Alex White hit a long foul ball to start his at-bat, then took Vogelsong deep to left-center field. It was the first time in 177 big-league appearances that Vogelsong has allowed a home run to a pitcher, and it was a prime example of the location mistakes that have cost Vogelsong recently.
Posey wanted the two-strike fastball down at the knees, but Vogelsong left it up at the letters.
Vogelsong gave up another run in the fourth and was charged with six hits and four earned runs in five innings. Vogelsong gave up four or more runs just three times in his first 24 starts but has done so in each of his past three outings.
It might be hard to pinpoint the root of his problems, but Vogelsong didn't have any trouble figuring out what he has to do next.
"Stop being bad," he said. "I'm costing us games right now, and I'm not real happy about it. It's like I fix one thing, and the other thing goes haywire. I've got to get back in the middle of the road."
Vogelsong (12-8) did feel good about his final two innings, saying he could build off them. But the Giants were never able to claw their way all the way back against the Rockies, largely because of a costly error by Pablo Sandoval.
The third baseman couldn't handle a two-out grounder in the sixth, and the Rockies went on to score two more runs and lead 6-2.
Posey cut the deficit in half in the seventh, hitting a two-out, two-run homer to right-center field.