The 2010 World Series champion San Francisco Giants relied on a deep, talented bullpen to buttress a stellar starting rotation.
Strengthened by trade-deadline acquisitions Javier Lopez and Ramon Ramirez, the group was a major factor in the club's first world title in 53 seasons in San Francisco.
All seven of its stalwarts returned in 2011. While closer Brian Wilson is its lone All-Star representative, at least two others—Sergio Romo and Lopez—merited consideration.
A closer, comparative look at each member of the Giants bullpen reveals some interesting trends.
All seven were assessed on three unbiased statistics: WHIP (walks and hits allowed per inning); ERA; and strikeout/walk ratio. Intangibles also were considered.
Won/loss record, saves, and holds were excluded. These can be misleading (wins awarded to relief pitchers often result from surrendering leads) or inequitable (late-inning specialists and closers get virtually all hold and save opportunities).
One tidbit: Compared to 2010, four relievers—Brian Wilson, Santiago Casilla, Lopez and Ramirez—are having statistically poorer years. Sergio Romo and Guillermo Mota are performing at comparable levels.
Only Jeremy Affeldt is outpacing his 2011 numbers.
And another tidbit: My 2011 Giants bullpen "All-Star" isn't their bearded closer. Read on for the details.