Ah yes – the Night Train, himself. Few loogy’s can match the devastating numbers of Lopez, who’s been nothing short of amazing (at least against left handed batters) in his two and a half seasons by the Bay.
It was a rough first half for the 6’4 Lopez, at least statistically as opposing batters hit .314 off the University of Virginia product during the seasons first few months. His ballooned ERA wasn’t as bad as it seemed though as Lopez was left to wear it on a May 24th game against the Miami Marlins, who lit the southpaw up for 4 earned runs in 1 inning of work – good for 40% of his entire season allowance. Outside of the hiccup, Lopez was lights out for the season – especially during the second half – compiling a 1.00 ERA in 32 post-break games (though only in 18 innings) and a 0.94 WHIP.
Lopez also, like most of his fellow Giants, saved his best for last throwing three innings of shutout ball in the playoffs, continually getting the Giants out of jams as he’s done so often throughout his tenure in orange and black.
Relievers, especially specialists like Lopez, don’t often get the glory – especially considering the tightropes they walk, but Giant fans have grown to love and adore Lopez and rightfully so. It’s difficult to judge a player like Lopez statistically because as can be seen above, one poor outing essentially ruins your statistical season. Still – outside of that rough patch in Miami, Javier was money just about every time he took the mound and few were more reliable than the Night Train.
Season Grade: A-