Brian Wilson and Friends: Why the SF Giants Bullpen May Be NL's Best in 2011

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Brian Wilson and Friends: Why the SF Giants Bullpen May Be NL's Best in 2011
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The San Francisco Giants pitching rotation may be the best in baseball. Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez, Madison Bumgarner and Barry Zito make up the Giants’ starting five, and this cadre of aces boasts several accolades, including three Cy Young awards, one no-hitter and unrivaled dominance in the postseason that won San Francisco its first world championship.

But the relievers in the San Francisco bullpen are a vital and undervalued bunch. Someone has to pitch the last third of the game when the starters tire or pitch counts limit their time on the mound. Someone has to bail out the starting gems on their rare off days. And someone has to close out the game and clinch the victory.

San Francisco’s relievers are especially adept at providing this crucial yet often unheralded support system for the starters.

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