So. The Bullpen.

Well, okay.  The first two days of this road trip were sad.  And then there was a bewildering win on the last day in Toronto and the sweet win yesterday against the Astro’s.  I know I should just be happy and not think about it when the Giants score 9 runs, but I want to preserve a win like that and try to figure out what went right, aside from the obvious reason of the pitchers they were facing.  The hitting so complicated, aside from the obvious brilliance of putting Huff and Uribe next to each other.  Today, actually, we’re talking about what went wrong, though.  The bullpen.  Our starting pitchers are so strong and it’s nice when we just need Wilson for a save, but that isn’t always the case and the bullpen is going to need to keep us in the game, at least some of the time.


The last game against the Jays was tense when it just should not have been.  Reading about the story behind the homer Affeldt let in on the front of the news the next morning, I won’t say I wish he hadn’t given it up (read the story here), but we do have to assess the bullpen and that assessment may not be totally positive.  Take a look:


Jeremy Affeldt- 2 wins, 3 losses with a 5.64 ERA
Denny Bautista- 1 wins, no losses with a 2.89 ERA

Santiago Casilla- 1 win, 1 loss with a .88 ERA

Guillermo Mota- no wins, 2 losses with a 2.84 ERA

Sergio Romo- 2 wins, three losses with a 2.67 ERA

Dan Runzler- 2 wins, no losses with a 3.06 ERA

Brian Wilson (closer)-  20 saves, 21 save opportunities with a 2.05 ERA


Looking at the stats, it doesn’t seem so bad.  So why did we need to bring in our closer in (what should have been) a blowout?  You could say that Affeldt is the problem, but that would be simplifying the issue.  The truth is stats only tell half the story and I’m evidently not a MLB batter, but if I were facing the Giants, I think I’d have visions of getting something going when they take out their starters.  Because even if the relievers/closers for San Fran get the job done, there is always drama.  Looking at their stats, it’s baffling because most of them are really pretty good.  So is it just me or are you nervous too when we think Speedy Oil Change (if you’re not a KNBR listener, you won’t get that)? 


This quote from the SF Chron, after Zito beat the A’s for the first time, is the story of the 2010 Giants bullpen:  “It ended in dramatic fashion.  That’s how you like to do it.” -Brian Wilson

Um, Brian?  That’s not how us fans like you to do it.  Duh, you wouldn’t have a job if there weren’t close and dramatic endings, but you don’t have to make it all the more dramatic when you do come in.  But this post is not, in fact, about Wilson and he’s one of the strongest legs of the ‘pen, so I’m not complaining.  If nothing else, maybe a talk to the relievers is in order about the virtues of getting the job done fast?  Just a suggestion, Bochy.  And if we’re dreaming big?  Maybe a few new relievers are in order, too.  Like Steve Efeldsen who is 5-0 with a 1.74 ERA in the Giants AAA affiliate. 

Wait.  I got a good idea.  What about teaching Ryan Braun to pitch and then using him alternately as a reliever and a left fielder?  Now we have to trade for him.


Diamond Girl

p.s.  A quick question… why do baseball teams only have one closer?  Maybe there’s something I’m not getting about closer territory– okay, now that I’m thinking about it Brian Wilson and Jonathon Papelbon in one dugout is a bad idea–but wouldn’t it seem like a smart move, to take some of that pressure off the one and only closer?  In the situation of a 5 out save, that would also give the team more options (using one in the 8th, the other in the 9th).   Thoughts?

1 Comment

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One response to “So. The Bullpen.

  1. seedboy

    Middle relief is a problem with this team.
    With middle relievers, ERA misses an important issue: what happens to inherited baserunners. Middle guys often come in with runners on base. If those runners score, that counts against the ERA of the pitcher who put them on base, and not the ERA of the reliever. Yet, you put that reliever in to keep them from scoring. You can find a stat for batting average of the first batter faced, which tells you something, because when you put in a reliever you really want that first batter to make an out.

    It is really expensive to have two closers. The Dodgers did for a while last year with Broxton and Sherrill (righty and lefty) but this year Sherrill has pitched poorly.

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