Chris Stratton remembers exactly when and where his lowest point came this season; but more important than that, he remembers exactly who helped him turn it around.
“It was just the bullpen that I threw in Nashville, it was probably the worst game of catch I’ve ever played,” Stratton said. “I was trying to focus on all these different moving parts and trying to lock them in. And as soon as I got on the mound, Vogelsong was right behind me, kind of coaching me along with what he does and just helped me stay in a better line. I think I was just getting a little too rotational and flying open a little bit too much and he helped me out.”
Stratton said Ryan Vogelsong, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner have made themselves available to young Giants pitchers like himself, Andy Suarez and Dereck Rodriguez – and the less-young Derek Holland. Rodriguez is a contender for Rookie-of-the-Year, Holland’s last outing was a one-run gem, Stratton just pitched an eight-inning shutout and Suarez just had his own shutout in seven innings.
“I think every day here is a blessing and I’m just happy to be here,” Stratton said. “And like I’ve said before, just learning from guys like Bum and Cain previously and Vogelsong, I think those guys just pouring into you has really helped out. It’s helped me and Suarez and Rodriguez out a ton, just being young, and Holland as well.”
Stratton was nothing but complimentary to Vogelsong, adding that the Giants legend made a comparison between the two.
“He said that we were very similar,” Stratton said. “That was one of the queues that he used that helped him out, so that ended up helping me out as well. He’s just a good mentor to some of the younger guys. He’s come up to me a few times even before that and was trying to help me out. I’m glad that he’s hanging around and sharing his knowledge.”
The 28-year-old’s outing started with a pair of singles, making the final result of an eight-inning shutout all the more impressive. Stratton said there was no question getting out of the first inning unharmed was crucial for him.
“First at-bat I thought I made some great pitches all the way up until the two strikes when he got the hit and the next guy just did a good job inside-out,” Stratton said. “So I guess I’m glad Peralta grounded out to first. That was big for me in that moment.”
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