Thursday, August 01, 2013

Romo tiene cojones!

That's what Henry Schulman of the SF Chron said about Romo's performance tonight with a headline saying "A word on Sergio Romo --

And that word is “cojones.”
I won’t translate it. You probably know what it means. And deep down you have to know that Sergio Romo has them. If you want to read a complete recap of tonight’s game and Romo’s ninth inning, see the original post below.
I get ripped a lot from people who think I’m anti-stats; or, more specifically, anti-Sabermetrics. Truth is, I’m not. I just get aggravated when those in the “stats community” go too far overboard and deny any human elements that can affect the outcome of a game.
One of the greatest canards is, “Teams overvalue closers.” 
Now, part of that is true. I’d be reluctant to sign a closer to a four-year, $50 million contract because success in the role can be fleeting and the difference in talent between a guy who pitches the ninth inning might not be worth millions more than a guy who pitches the eighth, especially if it’s a Santiago Casilla.
The canard part is the notion that “anyone can close,” which is pure balderdash, poppycock and a whole bunch of other 19th century words that an old curmudgeon like me are supposed to use.
You think any pitcher with great stuff could have gotten out of the bases-loaded, no-out situation that Romo escaped tonight? Some might have, but I’d wager most couldn’t because of the way the Phillies got their three runners and what that would do to a pitcher’s mind. Especially after the pitcher had lost his previous two games (as Romo had).
An error, a slip and fall on a bunt (by Romo himself) and a hit batter. That’s enough to make a lot of pitchers tear their hair out, and it’s not easy to get three outs without allowing a runner from third to score when you have a fistful of hair.
As soon as Romo hit John Mayberry Jr. to load the bases, I looked toward the dugout to see if someone would go to the mound to try to make sure Romo was calm. Nobody came, although manager Bruce Bochy thought about it.
“I just backed off there,” Bochy said. “That’s his game. He’s been in that situation. That’s why he’s your closer. He regrouped and made some great pitches.”
All Romo needed was Buster Posey telling him he had to bear down, and his cojones.
Romo said there was something more: “The fact that no one’s given up here, everyone keeps pushing and trying to progress forward as a group, and the performance that (Matt) Cain put out today. That ninth off (Jonathan) Papelbon is not easy to do. You’re able to be more confident going out there knowing you’re not alone, knowing that everyone still wants it. The reality is it was just really really good to get it done.”
And when he did, Romo reached 25 saves.
I asked what that number meant to him, and he said, “It’s huge. It means I’ve been able to get the job done that many times. It means more I’ve been able to do it for these guys because they put me in that role. They feel I deserve to be in that role. Just to get it done and reward their efforts, actually getting my job done, that’s the most fulfilling part.”

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