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  1. An added note about Romo is he has currently retired 28 consecutive batters

    Comment by Kogoruhn — August 4, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

  2. An extended perfect game…

    I like to see Giants relievers other than Wilson get some credit. They are a huge part of the teams success this season and last.

    Comment by kriz — August 4, 2011 @ 5:05 pm

  3. These guys are the reason the Giants win so many one run games. When the Giants have a two run lead after the 7th inning the other team might as well just go home.

    Comment by Hurtlocker — August 4, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

  4. Yeah, Bochy using Lopez against so many RHB is infuriating. Dude usually runs a tight bullpen so it’s especially mysterious.

    It’s like he thinks Romo is the ROOGY when it’s clearly the other way around. I have no idea what he sees that makes him think otherwise, especially since he has the biggest hard on for lefty/righty matchups when it comes to assembling lineups/PH appearances.

    Comment by mooks — August 4, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

  5. I think the reason that Bochy won’t use Romo against right handers is because he still can’t forgive him for those two runs he gave up against the Braves in the NLDS, costing them the game.

    Comment by crzy — August 4, 2011 @ 6:01 pm

  6. this is all the rest of MLB needs: an article about how to make san fran’s bullpen BETTER

    Comment by jim — August 4, 2011 @ 6:06 pm

  7. Lopez is somewhat unusual in being a ground-ball pitcher with a depressed HR/FB for his career. Generally, high-GB% guys have inflated HR/FB, although of course their HR/9 will still be low. Roy Halladay, Derek Lowe, Brandon Webb, and Brandon League are good examples of the phenomenon.

    Comment by AustinRHL — August 4, 2011 @ 6:07 pm

  8. when have the giants ever had a two-run lead ?

    Comment by jim — August 4, 2011 @ 6:08 pm

  9. With regard to Lopez, the ‘extreme groundball pitcher’ element shouldn’t help his xFIP, right? xFIP normalizes HR/FB, not HR/9 or anything. His xFIP should still be based on the assumption that, given a fly-ball, whats the percentage it is a home-run? The fact that he gives up less fly balls has no bearing on this.

    In fact, the glossary indicates that “…groundball pitchers typically have a higher HR/FB rate than flyball pitchers.” Perhaps meaning that when a groundball pitcher misses, it’s with the kind of pitch that gets walloped. So shouldn’t he be a candidate to underperform his xFIP?

    I might be misunderstanding.

    Comment by Jim — August 4, 2011 @ 6:11 pm

  10. Yeah, that’s what I was getting at with my comment above. Either Tommy completely misunderstands xFIP, or he just worded his sentence particularly poorly.

    Comment by AustinRHL — August 4, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

  11. I should’ve made it more clear. Because GB & a low HR/9 his FIP is generally lower that his xFIP which has bounced around because of HR/FB fluctuation.

    Comment by Tommy — August 4, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

  12. i feel safer with lopez going against RHB in high leverage situations than Ramirez

    Comment by pbjsandwich — August 4, 2011 @ 6:58 pm

  13. As a side note the fluctuation in HR/FB throughout Lopez’s career is pretty extreme and interesting in itself.

    Comment by Tommy — August 4, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

  14. We all know it’s the magic pixie dust in at&t park that allows pitchers to beat their xFIPs.

    Comment by Ryan — August 4, 2011 @ 7:08 pm

  15. Romo faced 29 batters in July and allowed ONE baserunner. Good enough for a 0.10 WHIP. He backed that up with a tidy 12.1 K/9. Just not fair.

    Comment by fiji.siv — August 4, 2011 @ 7:09 pm

  16. Being a Giants fan with a fine, dark beard who watches Sergio Romo pitch on a regular basis I bristled a bit at the “lack of stuff” line. No, he doesnt throw 98, but are radar gun readings the definition of ‘stuff’? Romo’s slider breaks bigger than Hawaii’s North Shore. That qualifies as ‘stuff’ to me. Dude is filthy.

    Comment by Romosexual — August 4, 2011 @ 7:12 pm

  17. Not to mention it looks exactly the same as the fastball coming out of his hand and right up until it flies laterally across the plate.

    Comment by mooks — August 4, 2011 @ 7:13 pm

  18. You mean against LHB? And yeah if that’s the case it’s still an infuriating way to manage a bullpen.

    Comment by mooks — August 4, 2011 @ 7:14 pm

  19. The AT & T factor helps with the past two seasons, but he’s also posted some low HR/FB totals in Coors Field and Fenway park.

    Comment by Tommy — August 4, 2011 @ 7:15 pm

  20. Thanks Tommy for giving some love to the dudes who make it happen on a nightly basis for our luck driven, no hitting, even run differencial, non walking, big head managed, island of misfit toys.

    Comment by Matt Cain's massive throbbing xFIP — August 4, 2011 @ 7:17 pm

  21. I agree. That little bearded Mexican is some sort of wizard.

    Comment by Ryan Howard — August 4, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

  22. When your scoring ~ 3.3 runs/game on average, they are the reason for the Giants success.

    Comment by channelclemente — August 4, 2011 @ 7:22 pm

  23. Yesterday.

    Comment by channelclemente — August 4, 2011 @ 7:22 pm

  24. No comment

    Comment by Nelson Cruz — August 4, 2011 @ 7:24 pm

  25. The reason Bochy doesn’t use him more against LHB is his slider is not as effective, his cut FB hasn’t been dramatically effective from a low 3/4 realease and tends drift over the plate at 90 MPH, a batting T.

    Comment by channelclemente — August 4, 2011 @ 7:25 pm

  26. I give the SPs some credit too…

    Comment by kriz — August 4, 2011 @ 7:45 pm

  27. Apparently Romo’s slider does not show the usual tell-tale, red dot. Not sure whether that varies with hitters’ handedness.

    Comment by Cuban X Senators — August 4, 2011 @ 8:00 pm

  28. When the Giants bullpen has been so good and is likely the biggest reason they are in first place, and even why they won the championship last year, I just don’t understand how you can call Bochy’s management “infuriating.” Infuriating for the opposing teams, maybe, but certainly not for me. Personally I love the way Bochy manages the bullpen.

    As for Lopez facing RH batters, it’s often because of switch-hitters that Bochy would rather have batting RH, or else a RH batter sandwiched between 2 LH batters.

    Bochy’s management is just fine, thank you!

    Comment by DrBGiantsfan — August 4, 2011 @ 8:38 pm

  29. what’s the perception of Romo around the league? would he bring back a decent in a trade?

    Comment by The End — August 4, 2011 @ 9:18 pm

  30. a decent haul, that is…

    Comment by The End — August 4, 2011 @ 9:18 pm

  31. btw, OP doesn’t even mention Santiago Casilla?

    Comment by The End — August 4, 2011 @ 9:19 pm

  32. the best way to describe romos unbelievably filthy slider is that it is as if he is throwing a wiffle ball

    Comment by Adam K. — August 4, 2011 @ 9:21 pm

  33. fuck you, i was here first

    Comment by jim — August 4, 2011 @ 9:50 pm

  34. Kinda got turned off by “and his save totals show he is well-equipped with the closer mentality”. Really?

    Comment by Sitting Curveball — August 4, 2011 @ 10:04 pm

  35. That still doesn’t make sense, Tommy. There’s no reason (other than luck) that a groundballer should have an FIP lower than his xFIP.

    Looks to me that Lopez has simply gotten lucky on flyballs for his career, and you’re groping to find an explanation for it.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — August 4, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

  36. Not really. As you’ve pointed out, he’s an extreme groundballer and a LOOGY. That means that you’re dealing with a very small sample size of flyballs each season. Hence, less of an opportunity for the numbers to stabilize withithe season.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — August 4, 2011 @ 10:10 pm

  37. What do you mean? are you saying that a sidewinding lefty’s slider is going to be more effective against right handers? A sidewinding lefty who, unsurprisingly, has demonstrated a very large career and seasonal platoon split?

    Comment by williams .482 — August 4, 2011 @ 11:34 pm

  38. Don’t forget Mota’s six consecutive K’s yesterday. Agree 100% with the author’s analysis of the go-to guys in the pen. They don’t receive the credit they deserve but I also think some of those guys prefer to avoid the spotlight altogether.

    Comment by Tommyboy — August 5, 2011 @ 12:40 am

  39. its on. battle of jims

    Comment by Jim — August 5, 2011 @ 12:50 am

  40. Yeah, saw your post right after I finished mine. Interesting, though, that there are some guys who seem to sustain that kind of performance.

    Comment by Jim — August 5, 2011 @ 12:52 am

  41. Yeah, one of the less “FanGraphy” articles I’ve seen. “Closer mentality” mentioned along with a misunderstanding of xFIP all in the same post.. blurgh..

    Comment by Yakuzafro — August 5, 2011 @ 2:14 am

  42. The “no dot” slider Romo throws is due to the way he releases it. He throws it so the dot is behind the ball instead of out front, so the hitter cant pick it up until its too late.

    Comment by DanVan18 — August 5, 2011 @ 6:10 am

  43. “As an alumni”

    Are there more than 1 Javier Lopez on the Giants. the word alumni is male plural. I think you mean alumnus.

    Comment by jacob — August 5, 2011 @ 8:12 am

  44. Lopez’ slider breaks in two planes and induces a lot of ground balls. He can throw it at the back foot of a RH batter for a K.

    Romo’s slider is a 1 planer. It has more sideways break than any other slider in baseball and is unhittable for RH batters but he can’t break to down at the back foot to LH batters. If he throws the slider to break off the plate inside, it hits the batter. If he goes back door with it, it breaks right into the LH batter’s wheelhouse.

    Romo is starting to occasionaly throw a nice little fading changeup to LH batters but until it’s more developed and he has more confidence in it, I can certainly see why Bochy doesn’t trust him against LH batters.

    Comment by DrBGiantsfan — August 5, 2011 @ 9:38 am

  45. I’ve heard Romo’s slider is a “no-dot” slider, meaning because of his relase point a red dot from the spinning seams does not show to the hitter, and they can’t recognize it. I’d expect this to be more true for RHB.

    Comment by DD — August 5, 2011 @ 11:06 am

  46. The extreme groundballer part of your statement is accurate, the LOOGY part, no so much. For his career he has faced 739 lefties and 743 righties, more right handed hitters than left handed. He should be a LOOGY, but he’s never really been used as one.

    Comment by Matt — August 5, 2011 @ 11:23 am

  47. Don’t worry it’s a known fact that neither Sabes or Bochy have Internet access, and even if they did they have no use for you nerbs and your crazy statz. FACT: Javier Lopez has 5 wins, Sergio Romo only has 3.

    Comment by Giant Torture — August 5, 2011 @ 11:23 am

  48. Matt Cain laughs at you and your xFIP.

    Comment by Giant Torture — August 5, 2011 @ 11:24 am

  49. No, DrB, the bullpen is not the biggest reason for either of those accomplishments. The starting pitching is a far bigger reason–the bullpen 2nd.

    Comment by GiantHusker — August 5, 2011 @ 1:56 pm

  50. Apparently, any pitcher who gets almost all of his team’s save opportunities has a closer mentality, because he always ends up with the most saves.
    Maybe some FanGraphs writer should explore this oddity.

    Comment by GiantHusker — August 5, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

  51. Wow! An extreme case of SSS. Mota’s WAR is around zero.

    Comment by GiantHusker — August 5, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

  52. Most of us managed to understand the intent of this phrase despite the egregious error.

    Comment by GiantHusker — August 5, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

  53. Learning to live with OCD, huh. Good luck.

    Comment by channelclemente — August 5, 2011 @ 2:37 pm

  54. Jim and his other brother Jim, has a familiar ring to it.

    Comment by channelclemente — August 5, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

  55. Romanes eunt domus

    Comment by Liem — August 5, 2011 @ 2:41 pm

  56. Career Platoon Splits:

    vs. RHB: .291/.377/.420 (.797 ops)
    vs. LHB: .222/.315/.311 (.626 ops)

    vs. RHB: .199/.280/.314 (.594 ops)
    vs. LHB: .257/.334/.397 (.731 ops)

    vs. RHB: .182/.235/.305 (.540 ops)
    vs. LHB: .195/.259/.295 (.554 ops)

    I can understand looking at Romo’s stuff and thinking he shouldn’t be as effective vs. lefties. But shouldn’t actual results matter at some point?

    Comment by ElJimador — August 5, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

  57. Indeed it is a “no dot” slider. I’d be interested in all the pitchers in the league with a no dot slider…all I know for now is Romo and Gregorson.

    Comment by Matt — August 5, 2011 @ 7:45 pm

  58. The Giants wouldn’t have gotten where they are without either one and if you want to say the SP’s are more important, that’s OK with me. Doesn’t make change the main point of my comment which is I’m more than happy with Bochy’s management of the bullpen. Come to think of it, I’m fine with his management of he starters too!

    A comment saying Bochy’s bullpen management is “infuriating” is about as ignorant as someone who claims to be a knowledgeable baseball fan can get.

    Comment by DrBGiantsfan — August 5, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

  59. a jim-off, if you will

    Comment by jim — August 5, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

  60. This year:

    Lopez .253 vs RHB; .137 vs LHB.

    Romo .257 vs LHB; .111 vs RHB.

    Romo has allowed 2 HR’s 1 vs RHB and LHB each. Lopez has allowed 0 HR’s.

    Again, a lot of the RHB’s Lopez faces are switch hitters who I’m guessing don’t have as good numbers from the right side so that’s the way Bochy wants them to bat. He also faces some RHB’s who are sandwiched between two LHB’s. Then there’s always pinch-hitters with opposing managers trying to get a better matchup.

    The Giants have 2 LHP’s in the bullpen whereas they have 5 RHP’s so it wouldn’t be surprising that Bochy would want to keep Lopez in for for a RHB sandwiched between two LHB’s so he doesn’t have to burn up 2 lefties in one inning.

    I have no problem with a minor disagreement with Bochy’s bullpen strategy, but the one thing the man has always had in his entire managing career is great bullpens. To call his bullpen management “infuriating” is just plain ignorant!

    Comment by DrBGiantsfan — August 5, 2011 @ 8:49 pm

  61. DrB you keep saying that the righties Lopez faces are either sandwiched between 2 lefties or are switch hitters who we should want hitting from the right side, but look at the numbers. Lopez has actually faced more RHB this year than LHB (94 to 83). Not only that, he’s even faced more RHB than Romo has (93 vs only 36 LHB)! So in terms of usage clearly it’s not just the occasional “sandwiched” righty or Lance Berkman that Lopez is facing. It’s more like Romo doesn’t get the call at all unless he’s coming in to face back to back RHB. As in,

    RRL = Romo, but
    LRL = Lopez
    LRS = Lopez
    SRL = Lopez
    RLR = Lopez

    etc. Otherwise you can’t get to those usage numbers. As for effectiveness, you point to BA and HR splits how about the fact that RHB have an OBP nearly 100 points higher vs. Lopez (.376) than LHB have vs. Romo (.278)?

    I don’t question Bochy’s managing on a lot but the way he uses Lopez and Romo is entirely backwards, especially when it comes to the 8th inning hold situations. It should be Lopez used as the specialist while Romo is the guy left in to face the opposite handed or switch hitters sandwiched in between.

    Comment by ElJimador — August 6, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

  62. “Stuff” and velocity are not synonymous. Greg Maddux had sick stuff, but not great velocity. Daniel Cabrera had great velocity, but no stuff.

    Comment by AA — August 10, 2011 @ 5:21 pm

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