MLB

San Francisco bullpen keeping Phillies on the edge of despair;GIANTS RELIEVERS

FOX Sports Steve Kroner, Chronicle Staff Writer, The San Francisco Chronicle (California)
Share This Story

   
 

Late-inning relievers usually have an "edge," something that enables them to handle the stress of getting the final outs to wrap up a victory.

With Javier Lopez and Brian Wilson, the Giants usually have an edge - and certainly did so Tuesday. Lopez worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Wilson allowed a single sandwiched between a strikeout and a game-ending double-play ball in the Giants' 3-0 victory over the Phillies in China Basin.

Wilson's "edge," Lopez said, is that he takes a competitive nature "to another level. ... He's going to throw the fastball at you and he's going to throw that little slider at you. He's not going to try to mix it up, and split-finger and curveball and everything. He's coming at you with two pitches and, 'This is what I've got. Let's go to work.' "

And Lopez's edge?

"My edge is to prepare," the left-hander said. "That's my thing. I try to make sure I'm not overwhelmed or surprised by any situation. I try to think ahead of time about what might happen and how I want to go about pitching a guy."

Lopez got Chase Utley on a popup to open the eighth. That out was more important than it might have seemed; with Placido Polanco, a right-handed hitter, following Utley, Giants manager Bruce Bochy would have had to consider going to Wilson for a six-out save had Utley reached base.

As it was, Lopez retired Polanco on a grounder to third and then struck out Ryan Howard, allowing Wilson to worry only about the 25th, 26th and 27th outs.

"Anytime we can get Wilson just one inning," Lopez said, "that's what we're trying to do."

What Lopez does is get left-handed hitters out with uncanny efficiency. He came to the Giants in a trade-deadline deal with Pittsburgh. Lefties went 5-for-45 against Lopez in his two regular-season months with San Francisco. In the postseason, lefties are 0-for-6 with four strikeouts against him.

Catcher Buster Posey has two reasons for Lopez's success against lefties.

"His ball's moving a lot, No. 1," Posey said, "and then he's just giving them so many different arm angles."

Wilson tied Rod Beck's club record with 48 saves in the regular season. Tuesday's save was his fourth of the playoffs. He tries to keep the same attitude in October that he has from April through September.

Said Wilson: "It's just like another game. It's a lot easier said than done, I know that."

"There's going to be anxiety," Lopez said. "There's always going to be some tension and things like that. So, you try to just keep your calm and tell yourself that you've been in these spots before."

Tagged: Phillies, Giants, Chase Utley, Javier Lopez, Brian Wilson

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



MLB Videos

Bautista talks Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Jose Bautista discusses Derek Jeter's career and his final appearance in the MLB...

Jeter honored to play in last All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Derek Jeter compares his first All-Star Game experience with his last, Mike Trou...

Matheny defends Wainwright: He's out there to compete Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Mike Matheny comments on the media's reaction to Adam Wainwright's joke about le...

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..