Sergio Romo Anchors San Francisco Giants' Vaunted Bullpen

By John Shea
San Francisco Giants Sergio Romo
Kyle Terada- USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco Giants closer Sergio Romo is one of the most undervalued late inning relievers in baseball. He features one of the nastiest sliders in the game, often making prolific hitters look foolish at the plate. At 5-foot-10 and 185-pounds, Romo is small in stature but monstrous on the mound.

The six-year veteran and new found closer has posted a career 2.27 ERA in nearly 300 innings pitched. He saved 38 games for the Giants in 2013, accounting for half of their wins. Romo could be described as ferociously goofy; his fiery demeanor is absent off the field but rampant in the ninth inning.

San Francisco appeared destitute when former fan favorite Brian Wilson was forced to undergo his second career Tommy John surgery in 2012. It appeared as though the Giants didn’t have a late reliever capable of nailing down the final three outs. But Romo became a stopgap in the ninth inning by shutting down the opposition to preserve countless big wins for the Giants.

Romo was especially impressive in the 2012 World Series as he recorded three saves and five strikeouts without allowing a run. He famously struck out Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera to cap the Giants’ four game sweep of the Detroit Tigers in a moment that will reign prominent forever in San Francisco sports history.

Romo has become an anchor in the Giants’ vaunted bullpen. San Francisco typically plays tight to the vest, often clinging to slim leads in the late innings. Romo is a rock and demonstrates a fearless attitude to pin down victories. He’s fearless: a definitive characteristic of a dominant closer.

The Giants’ gritty late inning reliever becomes virtually unhittable as the season progresses into September and October. He owns a microscopic 0.96 ERA in 65.2 career innings pitched during the final two months of the season. He thrives in pressure-cooked situations while wearing his emotions on his sleeve.

Romo’s signature uproar of elation after nailing down a save epitomizes his passion. His teammates feed off his vibrant showcase of emotion which fuels the Giants toward success. The Giants suffered their first losing season since 2008 last year but will likely turn things around in 2014 specifically because of players like Romo.

The 30-year-old veteran holds opponents to a stagnant .197 batting average and frequently limits scoring opportunities. The Giants’ chances of winning close games down the stretch are enhanced because Romo is often untouchable.

John Shea is a San Francisco Giants writer for Follow him on Twitter @shea_prosports. “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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