THURSDAY: NATIONALS 6, GIANTS 5 – BOX SCORE
FRIDAY: GIANTS 6, PIRATES 5 – BOX SCORE
When Brian Wilson went down for the season, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he would go with a closer-by-committee.
That committee quickly became Santiago Casilla.
Through June 18, Casilla had allowed four earned runs in his first 30 appearances, never allowing more than one run in any appearance. Only twice did he allow two hits or more in any of those appearances. He had 19 saves in 19 appearances with a 1.32 ERA.
But since then, Casilla has given up six earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. He’s allowed at least two hits in four of his last five outings. He’s blown three of his last four save opportunities.
Is this a funk? Or is something wrong with Casilla?
The Giants said Casilla would not be avaiable Saturday because of a blister on his middle finger.
But if the Giants don’t make a move to Sergio Romo as their new closer, Giants fans may want to show Bochy THEIR middle finger.
Romo has been lights-out nasty this season. He’s 2-1 with a 0.72 ERA. He’s 5-for-5 in save opportunities.
In those save opportunties (all occurring since June 2), Romo has not allowed a hit or a walk in 4 1/3 innings. He has four strikeouts in those outings.
Romo locked down the save Friday in Pittsburgh.
Afterward, Romo said he doesn’t want or need the closer title, throwing his support behind Casilla.
“Casilla’s done a great job for us this year … Who doesn’t have a rough patch during the season?” Romo said.
Who doesn’t? Um, Sergio, you don’t. Or at least you haven’t the past two seasons.
“We have all the confidence in the world in him,” Romo continued. “He’s our closer. He IS our closer. I’m just another guy in the pen that’s trying to contribute.”
It’s a nice sentiment, Sergio. But it’s not your call. It’s Bochy’s. It’s his job to put the right people in the game that give the team the best chance to win.
And right now, it’s Romo.
Casilla may just need a breather. He’s pitched more innings up to this point in the season than he’s ever done in the past.
His season-high for innings was 55.1 in 2010. He’s pitched between 48.1 and 55.1 each of the past five seasons.
He’s pitched 31.2 innings this season. He had a 1.95 ERA in 2010, 1.74 ERA in 2011 in setup roles. He’s at 2.84 this season with his recent “rough patch.”
So we say move Casilla back into the set-up spot for now. Let him catch his breath and regain his confidence.
And let’s get Romolicious in the ninth