TEMPE, Ariz. -- Ryan Vogelsong's story already was tailor made for Hollywood. His long, winding road to big league success included a trade, reconstructive elbow surgery and a handful of random stamps on the passport.
On Wednesday, Vogelsong revealed another twist. He pitched in last season's postseason knowing that his father, Harold, was fighting prostate cancer. Harold had hoped to watch his son represent Team USA in the World Baseball Classic next month, but radiation treatments started Wednesday.
"It's weighing on my mind a little bit," Vogelsong said. "But at the same time, baseball is kind of the getaway."
Vogelsong had a 1.09 ERA last postseason, his first as a big leaguer, going 3-0 and dominating in Game 3 of the World Series. Harold had long since known that he had prostate cancer and would need surgery, but his son said any potential distractions were limited as Harold didn't divulge much.
"They kept reassuring me that he was going to be fine," Vogelsong said. "He's got a great doctor in Boston that's supposed to be one of the best in the world with prostate cancer. We're pretty confident that this is going to knock it out. We're just praying that the radiation will knock it out and that he's not going to have too much of a rough time."
Vogelsong pitched three innings against the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday and afterward stood anxiously in a hallway near the dugout, waiting for a break in the action that would allow him to run out to his car and call Harold. In those three innings, Vogelsong, who is preparing for the WBC, allowed just one hit and struck out four.
He said he has just a few tweaks to make in his final start before joining the rest of his WBC teammates. Unlike many of his Giants teammates, Vogelsong won't have much of an adjustment when he leaves camp. Team USA's workouts are at a facility that is shared by the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, and happens to be right across the street from Vogelsong's spring training rental home.
Vogelsong said he's starting to get more and more excited about representing his country, but he feels the experience will be worth even more to his parents, wife and friends back home.
"It's a pretty amazing opportunity," he said. "I think that adds to the enjoyment that this is going to bring."
"February baseball, you gotta love it," manager Bruce Bochy said.
Bochy was pleased with Vogelsong's outing but said the defense was too sloppy in the final innings.
Angel Pagan hit a three-run homer, his first, and Brett Pill stayed hot with an RBI triple. Kensuke Tanaka was 0 for 2 and is hitless in 10 at-bats this spring.
"The numbers in Japan were good," Bochy said. "He's probably pressing a little right now and trying to get that first hit."