The Giants finished in the middle of the pack with a 3.50 bullpen ERA this season. However, despite losing closer Brian Wilson for the season after only two appearances, the pen managed to finish third in baseball by converting 80 percent of save opportunities.
Santiago Casilla received the first crack at the closer role, but he eventually faltered after saving 25 games. He still remained a key cog in the late innings and finished the season with a 2.84 ERA.
Sergio Romo has become the primary option as the closer against right-handed batters. He led the bullpen in K/9 (10.25), ERA (1.79), WHIP (0.85) and WAR (1.9).
Javier Lopez is now pitching in the ninth inning against lefties, who he held to a .191 batting average this season.
Jeremy Affeldt had another solid year out of the bullpen, delivering a 2.70 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 63.1 innings, which tied Casilla for the bullpen lead.
Jose Mijares has been outstanding since being acquired off of waivers from the Kansas City Royals. He held lefties to a .211 batting average this season and put up a 2.55 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 10.19 K/9 in 17.2 innings with the Giants.
George Kontos may have secured a spot on the postseason roster by striking out Matt Kemp in a key at-bat on Tuesday night. Acquired for Chris Stewart at the end of spring training, Kontos put up a 2.47 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 9.07 K/9 in 43.2 innings with the Giants.
Guillermo Mota (5.23 ERA), Clay Hensley (4.62 ERA), Brad Penny (6.11 ERA) and Shane Loux (4.97) are likely going to be left off the postseason roster in favor of Kontos and Vogelsong or Zito from the rotation.
Bochy deftly handled the loss of Wilson by mixing and matching with his bullpen crew. With the loss of Wilson at the end of the game, and Ramon Ramirez (who struggled badly with the Mets this season after two great years with the Giants) in the middle, this bullpen isn't quite as deep as it was two years ago. However, Bochy's ability to play matchups has kept the pen an overall asset for the Giants.
Bochy also gets credit for keeping the team on the right track after the devastating loss of Cabrera, and for sticking with Lincecum through his first half struggles despite calls for him to be removed from the rotation (including from me).
Posey has already been credited with a batting title, and an MVP should be soon to follow. Cain has somehow been left out of the Cy Young discussion once again this season, but he's become an elite ace, even if the national media mostly ignores his accomplishments.
General manager Brian Sabean also has to get a ton of credit for acquiring Cabrera, Pagan, Scutaro, Pence, Arias and Blanco this winter and at the trading deadline.
Like Cain, Sabean doesn't get much credit for the work he does. However, his outstanding 16-year track record, which includes five NL West crowns, six postseason appearances, two pennants and a World Series title, speaks for itself at this point.
No matter what happens during the rest of October, this has truly been an outstanding Giants team. For the second time in three season, the Giants are champions of the NL West.
Is another pennant in the cards? Another World Series? Based on their regular-season performance, more postseason success is a distinct possibility this fall.