The SF Giants have been deploying a closer-by-committee approach over the last week.
The SF Giants have managed to turn things around over the last month or so after everything seemed lost back in the middle of August.
A season that had some glimmer of hope because of its shortened nature appeared to be slipping away from the team after three consecutive bullpen meltdowns last month.
But since those three games, they’re a miraculous 13-5 and have outscored their opponents 111-67. Sure, a dominant 23-5 victory over the Colorado Rockies last week inflates that number as much as one baseball game can, but it’s still an impressive feat.
Much has been made about the Giants’ surging offense that has come out of nowhere to arguably be a top-10 offense in the MLB. But over the last few games especially, the Giants’ bullpen has emerged as an integral part of the team’s success.
The SF Giants’ bullpen has taken center stage over the last few days.
And they’re doing so without a defined closer. Trevor Gott has been removed from the role and he’s been replaced by not just one player, but a collective group of players.
On Saturday, lefty Tony Watson came in and shut the door on the Arizona Diamondbacks in a one-run game. On Sunday, Tyler Rogers took the mound and saved the game in a 4-2 Giants victory. And on Monday, it was Sam Coonrod‘s turn who picked up the save despite allowing a run.
Three different players. Three different games. All resulting in victories.
The closer-by-committee approach is an outdated concept, but one that fits this Giants team quite well. Gott struggled in the ninth-inning role primarily because he never should have been relied on as the guy in the first place.
After all, the 28-year-old had been nothing more than a below-average middle reliever throughout his career. Expecting him to all of a sudden become shut-down closer was foolish.
And that’s really the case for everyone in the Giants’ bullpen.
The Giants don’t have that go-to, obvious ninth-inning option. No one n their team — save for Watson — has any experience as a closer. It doesn’t make sense to rely on one player.
Instead, manager Gabe Kapler is going to roll with a rotating committee. Sometimes it will be a hot-hand approach. Sometimes it will be based on matchup. And sometimes it might just be who he’s most comfortable with in that spot.
At the end of the day, it’s hard to argue with a winning formula. And that formula sure has been successful so far.