Results tagged ‘ Santiago Casilla ’

It’s time for San Francisco Giants to give Sergio Romo a shot at closing

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.

San Francisco Giants pitcher Sergio Romo (54) against the Houston Astros in a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, June 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

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

Oakland A’s 4, San Francisco Giants 2: Two out of three ain’t bad

BOX SCORE

Well, phooey.

That’s about all you can say about Sunday’s series finale in Oakland.

While it would have been great to complete the sweep heading into the series with the Dodgers. But the Giants won two of three, and ultimately that’s the goal of every series … to win it.

The Giants looked like they might get that sweep when they led 2-1 in the ninth after a stellar performance from Matt Cain.

But Santiago Casilla came in, gave up two singles to go with two strikeouts before giving up a three-run homer to rookie Derek Norris on a 3-2 pitch.

One pitch away from a sweep. Instead, it’s a loss.

Sure, you can make the argument that Bruce Bochy should have considered other options in the ninth than Santiago Casilla, who had pitched in each of the previous two nights and not completely effectively.

Actually MoreSplashHits would argue that Casilla should not have been used to protect a three-run lead with two out in the ninth on Saturday. Just because a situation becomes a save situation according to the rules doesn’t mean you automatically bring in your closer. Saturday’s game should have been finished off by committee, which eventually it was, and given Casilla day off. It would have left him fresher for Sunday.

Now, having pitched in three consecutive days, Casilla will not be available Monday against the Dodgers. Of course, with Barry Zito pitching, if the Giants find themselves in a save situation Monday that will be a blessing in itself.

You could argue all those points. But in the end, the Giants ended up winning a game that they probably should have lost in Oakland and lost a game they should have won. And that’s called a push.

Entering this series, the Giants were 1-29 when trailing after eight innings, and they got a win Friday to go to 2-29.

On Sunday, they were 35-0 when entering the ninth with the lead, and now they are 35-1.

Maybe a bigger issue is how the Giants scored twice in the first inning on a Buster Posey home run, then didn’t score again.

The Giants are now 1-21 when scoring 3 runs or fewer in games in Oakland.

But thanks to a win by the Angels on Sunday, the Giants still only trail the Dodgers by three games in the NL West.

And now onto the Dodgers, which starts a stretch in which the Giants play their next 10 games against division leaders — three with the Dodgers (NL West leaders), four with the Reds (NL Central leaders) and three with the Nationals (NL East leaders). The first-half the season ends with three against the Pirates (who are second in the NL Central).

Thirteen games that will tell us a lot about how the Giants expect to contend for a division title and playoff spot in the second half of the season.

MoreSplashHits stays in the Top 50 of MLB Fans blog

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MoreSplashHits had another solid month blogging about the Giants, finishing in the Top 50 for page views for the month of May.

It was the second consecutive month MoreSplashHits placed 46th among fan blogs. It’s the fourth time in the past two years MoreSplashHits has ranked in the top 50, never higher than 44th.

So as a thanks to those following and to commemorate that back-to-back showing at No. 46, we share this pictorial showcase of some classic No. 46s in San Francisco Giants history.

San Francisco Giants 4, Philadelphia Phillies 2: Santiago Casilla vs. Brian Wilson

BOX SCORE

Most people around baseball are talking about how devastating it is for the Giants to lose closer Brian Wilson for the season.

But for those Giants fans who have watched Wilson over the past two seasons, we’ve seen something different.

In 2008, when the Giants turned over the closer job to a 26-year-old Wilson, he recorded 41 saves, and casual observers were impressed. But other numbers were less impressive: 4.62 ERA, 4.0 walks per 9 innings, 9.7 Ks per 9 and 1.44 WHIP.

Over the next two years, the numbers got better:

2009: 38 saves, 2.74 ERA, 3.4 BB per 9 IP, 10.3 K per 9 IP, 1.20 WHIP

2010: 48 saves, 1.81 ERA, 3.1 BB per 9 IP, 11.2 K per 9 IP, 1.18 WHIP

That’s what people remember, the 2010 Wilson who led the Giants in the NL West division title, NL championship and World Series title.

But then came the 2011 Brian Wilson:

3.11 ERA, 5.1 BB per 9 IP, 8.8 K per 9 IP, 1.47 WHIP.

One stat the was probably most discouraging: Between 2008-10, Wilson allowed between 13-18 percent of inherited runners to score.

In 2011, he allowed 46 percent.

Giants fans knew something wasn’t right with Wilson. The Giants knew that too. That’s why in the offseason they made moves to keep both Javier Lopez and Jeremy Affeldt when conventional wisdom had it that they would keep one.

Then the Giants held Wilson back early in spring training, then later kept him out of major-league spring training games. Could it be they did that to hide him while he worked on adjustments and changed his pitching approach?

So, after watching those first two regular-season outings in Colorado, it was hardly a stunner to Giants fans that Wilson would be done for the year.

But moving forward, when the Giants look for a replacement to close games, what they need is someone who can replace the 2011 Wilson, not the 2010 Wilson.

The 2010 Wilson was long gone. The best the Giants could have hoped for Wilson in 2012 is a repeat of 2011.

Now that they turn to Santiago Casilla to close, they can hope for more.

Here are Casilla’s numbers since joining the Giants in 2010:

2010: 1.95 ERA, 4.2 BB per 9 IP, 9.1 K per 9 IP, 1.193 WHIP

2011: 1.74 ERA, 4.4 BB per 9 IP, 7.8 K per 9 IP, 1.123 WHIP

He converted 8 of 10 save opportunites in 2010-11, the bulk of which came late last season when Wilson went on the DL. He allowed 13 and 20 percent of inherited runners to score in the past two seasons.

Casilla’s numbers don’t measure up to Wilson’s in 2010. But they are MUCH better than Wilson in 2011.

So, the Giants will be just fine with Casilla as closer. Frankly, I feel better with Casilla going out there in the ninth than being forced to watch Wilson try to gut out three outs.

Now, I know there are some who will say pitching in the ninth is much different than pitching in seventh or eighth.

But I don’t agree. This is the Giants we’re talking about. Given their offensive struggles, they play in a high number of close games. And with their offensive problems, a run surrendered in the seventh or eighth is just as likely to cost the team a win as one given up in the ninth.

Giants relievers are well-versed in pitching under pressure.

On Tuesday, Casilla earned his first save of 2012, giving up just one hit — a bloop single by Juan Pierre — and no walks in his inning of work.

UP NEXT

It’s Matt Cain vs. Cliff Lee in the series finale between the Giants and Phillies at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Giants sign Cody Ross, J-San, others to 2011 deals

Woohoo! Finally, some news from the Giants to report.

After the Giants made early offseason moves to shore up their 2011 rosters, we’ve been limited to chatting about Edgar Renteria’s rants of respect and watching The Panda’s waistline.
But Tuesday brought the first day the salary arbitration figures could be exchanged, leading to a flood of players signing deals for 2011 and beyond.
Cody.jpg
And, according to various reports, four of the six arbitration-eligible Giants signed deals with the team on Tuesday. And here they are:
  • Outfielder Cody Ross signed for $6.3 million, a raise over his $4.45 million 2010 salary. The NLCS MVP was acquired in a waiver claim from the Marlins on Aug. 22. He hits 14 home runs with 65 RBI and hit .269 last season.
  • Starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez signed for $4.8 million after earning $2.1 million in 2010. Sanchez was 13-9 with 3.07 ERA in 33 starts last season.
  • Relief pitcher Ramon Ramirez agreed to a $1.65 million, after earning $1.155 million last year. Ramirez was acquired in a trade with the Red Sox last season. He went 1-0 with 0.67 ERA in 25 outings with the Giants.
  • Also, relief pitcher Santiago Casilla reportedly agreed to a one-year deal for $1.3 million. Casilla made $400,000 in 2010, when he went 7-2 with a 1.95 ERA in 55 innings last season.
That leaves outfielder Andres Torres ($426,000 in 2010) and relief pitcher Javier Lopez ($775,000) as the other arbitration-eligible players who have not agreed on 2011 terms yet.
Based on Tuesday’s numbers, we would expect Torres and Lopez to agree to deals in the $1.5-2 million neighborhood for 2011. In fact, we heard the Giants offered $1.8 million to Torres, which sounds about right.
With Tuesday’s deals the Giants’ 2011 payroll sits at 110.545 million. After Torres and Lopez agree to terms, we’d expect the payroll to climb to $114 million. 
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