As much as fantasy owners appreciate an orderly bullpen with clearly-defined roles, Bruce Bochy was content to play the matchups in Friday's series opener in New York. Looks like we're not done picking through the Giants relief staff, trying to figure out who's doing what in the post-Brian Wilson world. A tree grows in Brooklyn, a committee shows in Queens.
Santiago Casilla was summoned for the bottom of the ninth at Citi Field, with a one-run lead to protect. Seems like ordinary handshake duty, but Bochy only let Casilla pitch to one batter - after Jason Bay's leadoff single, Javier Lopez came into the game to face what turned into three consecutive lefty batters. The Mets scratched across a run, forcing extra innings.
San Francisco had another one-run advantage an inning later, and Sergio Romo (who finished up the ninth) was asked to protect it. But when the Mets opened with a couple of singles, Bochy went to the bullpen again, calling for journeyman Clay Hensley. It's a logical move when you consider batted-ball tendencies - Hensley's ground-ball rate is over 51 percent for his career, while Romo sits at 34 percent. Hensley wound up getting the coveted handshake, inducing a groundout, strikeout and a deep-but-catchable fly to center.
How do fantasy owners shuffle this going forward? I'm still inclined to give Casilla the biggest save potential; the lefty glut in the ninth was an unusual thing, and let's also keep in mind Lopez wasn't able to lock the game down anyway. Romo would be my second pick, and with his high-strikeout rate and excellent ratio potential, he's the type of reliever that can still help you even when he's not closing. Hensley becomes an interesting option for very deep mixers and NL-only formats; recall how useful he was for the Marlins bullpen back in 2010. He's capable of missing bats and getting ground balls, and he might luck into 6-8 wins because he'll be used in a lot of tie games. Lopez has no chance to get more than an odd save here and there; he probably won't be exposed to that many right-handed batters, and Jeremy Affeldt might be a better lefty specialist anyway.
While you rehash and recalibrate the Giants save-chase, let's load up the bullets and see what else went down on the sandlots Friday evening.Read More »from Closing Time: Bruce Bochy does the committee conga; Lance Lynn keeps rolling along