What started as Ryan Vogelsong's best night of the year turned into his worst.
The Giants' right-hander was in the midst of his best start of 2013 when he was struck in the right hand by a pitch while swinging the bat, and he came off the field grimacing. Vogelsong knew right away his hand was fractured.
"It stinks," he said. "It stinks because it had been so rough, to go out there and feel like my old self again."
Vogelsong, who entered the game with the worst ERA (8.06) in the league among qualifying pitchers, worked five scoreless innings to help the Giants beat the Nationals 8-0 on Monday night at AT&T Park, ending their three-game skid.
"Tonight was the Vogey we know; that's the way he threw all of last year," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "I feel bad for him. ... This does rain on the parade a little bit."
Vogelsong, who got the win, said he will have surgery at Stanford on Tuesday. He expects that pins will be put in to help the healing process; he has two breaks in his right pinkie and a dislocated knuckle on the same finger.
The fact that it's his pinkie might help. "If it's going to be one (finger), that's the one to do," Vogelsong said. "It doesn't do much on the baseball, it just goes along for the ride."
It will take four to six weeks for the fracture to heal and then Vogelsong must get back into pitching form, so he's looking at missing at least two months and maybe more.
"We're not talking Tommy John or anything," he said, adding that he will be able to exercise to keep his arm in shape and keep his range of motion. Another plus: Vogelsong said he's confident that the mechanical issues on which he worked the past two weeks are resolved.
"I'll be back," said Vogelsong, whose ERA dipped to 7.19. "No question about that."