SAN DIEGO -- Manager Bruce Bochy declared before the season began that the Giants' National League West rivals had improved themselves. Playing each team in the division thus far has strengthened Bochy's conviction.
The NL West, Bochy said Sunday, poses more threats than just the defending champion Dodgers.
Bochy praised San Diego's pitching, which entered Sunday ranked second in the NL with a 2.68 ERA. Also, Bochy said, "They're a scrappy bunch that can create some runs. They have speed."
Colorado, said Bochy, "can really pressure you defensively. They have a good lineup and they got [right-hander Tyler] Chatwood back, so I think they're going to have a pretty good staff."
Bochy acknowledged that last-place Arizona has languished. He observed that losing valuable starter Patrick Corbin was a big blow to the D-backs. But, he added, "They'll come back."
The Giants are approaching the end of a stretch in which they play their first 22 games against NL West clubs. Their first opponent outside the West will be Cleveland, which visits AT&T Park for an Interleague series next weekend. Then the Giants will play seven of their next 13 games against NL West foes.
Vogelsong brings success vs. Rockies into start
SAN DIEGO -- The Colorado Rockies could be the ideal opponent for Ryan Vogelsong as he tries to sustain the momentum he established in his last start.
Coming off a one-run, six-inning outing last Wednesday against the Dodgers, Vogelsong will face a club against which he has reaped plenty of success in his Major League career.
Vogelsong owns a 5-1 record with a 3.06 ERA in eight starts against the Rockies, whom he's scheduled to face in Monday's series opener at Denver. That's his best record (minimum two decisions) against any club. He also has limited Rockies hitters to a .212 batting average, his lowest against any opponent.
Vogelsong owns a 2-1 record in three starts at Coors Field, the Rockies' home that tends to be unfriendly toward pitchers. His ERA in starts at Coors Field is a somewhat inflated 5.40.
Hudson reflects on mechanics' role in walks record
SAN DIEGO -- Tim Hudson didn't entirely attribute his record-setting control to refined pitching mechanics, but he acknowledged that certain aspects of his motion may have helped him avoid walking batters.
Hudson again refrained from issuing free passes Saturday for the fourth start in a row and reached 30 consecutive innings without a walk -- a franchise record to begin the season.
"I think mechanically I've been staying in line with the catcher a lot more than I have been," Hudson said.
He wasn't certain whether the right ankle injury he overcame has forced him to be more deliberate in his delivery.
"I know I'm not quite as powerful off the rubber. Maybe because of that I'm staying more sound mechanically," he said.
Hudson also said in all seriousness, "I've never been a guy that was a control pitcher." This is the same Hudson who averaged fewer than three walks per nine innings in 11 of 13 seasons from 2001 to 2013.