For the Giants, losing closer Brian Wilson just a handful of games into the season was devastating – not only on the field, but in the clubhouse. Sure – the orange and black had some talented arms to replace him, but who? Did we really want to use Jeremy Affeldt as the closer? Santiago Casilla was hit or miss. Javier Lopez wasn’t the answer. Sergio Romo? He just didn’t have the mental makeup, right?
The 5’11 Romo had his numbered called late-season after struggles from Santiago Casilla forced the hand of Bruce Bochy and the Brawley native didn’t disappoint. The Giants still opted to go for a closer-by-committee approach for a good portion of the season after Casilla lost his job, but the confidence when push came to shave was with Romo, who the Giants leaned on during their epic postseason run.
Regular season numbers for Romo were video game like – a 1.79 ERA with a 0.85 (whut?!?!) WHIP. Not shockingly, Romo’s postseason numbers (0.84 ERA and five base runners in 10.2 innings) were even better.
The highlight of Romo’s season though will undoubtedly be the battle between he and Jay Bruce in the decisive Game 5 of the Division Series. The grueling, 12 pitch at-bat (which started 0-2, mind you) with two men on base and the Giants clinging to a shrinking two-run lead was a microcosm of the Giants’ postseason run – and it was Romo, as always, who came out on top (though, not without a few heart stopping moments).
Romo’s season was so much more than that epic duel, but that epic duel defined his season – the Giants’ season – and the heart of this team and the fans.
Season Grade: A