Nobody does elimination games like Giants pitchers. Six times in October, they faced win-or-go-home postseason scenarios, and the Giants won all six. So it's easy to understand Ryan Vogelsong's comfort zone in both of his World Baseball Classic starts, both elimination games.
"I probably could've gone without that, but that's how it worked out," he said with a smile.
Vogelsong and reliever Jeremy Affeldt returned to Giants camp Sunday two days after Team USA got bounced from the WBC, again falling short of the championship game.
Both Giants viewed it as a rewarding experience except for the second-round TKO that included losses to the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, both of which seemed a step ahead on multiple levels.
"They take the tournament serious. It means a lot to them," Vogelsong said. "Not that we didn't take it serious. It meant a lot more to their fans than it meant to our fans. Their fans were a lot more into the tournament than our fans were."
Noting that Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira was hurt just before the tournament and Mets third baseman David Wright was scratched for the Americans' final two games, Affeldt said, "If we had our whole arsenal out there, I think we could've done better. That's a pretty big hole."
With many stars choosing to sit out, the U.S. team didn't have great depth, and Affeldt encouraged more Americans to participate in the next WBC, saying, "If you physically feel able to do it, then do it. It's an experience I'll never forget. I understand the caution teams have, but this is an opportunity to represent your country."


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