San Francisco Giants

Sergio Romo having another solid season

San Francisco Giants pitcher Sergio Romo works against the Washington Nationals in the eighth inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in San Francisco.
San Francisco Giants pitcher Sergio Romo works against the Washington Nationals in the eighth inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in San Francisco. AP

Sergio Romo’s method is no secret: He bounds in from the bullpen, toys with the flat bill of his cap as he toes the rubber and tries to retire the batter with a trademark sweeping slider. At times, it has appeared the league is catching onto Romo – yet the lithe right-hander has adjusted, typically without changing much. A few rocky outings this season have spiked his ERA, yet some numbers suggest he’s having one of his most effective seasons. A look at this year compared to last:

2014

STATS

2015

64

Games

49

58

Innings

38

43

Hits

34

24

Earned runs

15

3.72

ERA

3.55

-0.2

WAR

1.3

59

Strikeouts

53

12

Walks

8

9.16

Strikeouts/9 innings

12.55*

4.92

Strikeouts/walk ratio

6.63

1.40

HR/9 innings

0.47

50.2%

Pitches swung at

47.5%

71.2%

Contact on swings

63.7%**

PITCH USAGE

36.1%

Fastballs

38%

52.%

Sliders

57.8%

11.9%

Changeups

4.2%

*Strikeouts/nine innings is the second-highest of Romo’s career behind 2011 (13.1).

**Opponents’ contact rate is a career low and the sixth-lowest of qualified MLB relievers.

Source: baseball-reference.com

RIGHT-LEFT

Romo focused on integrating his changeup more against left-handers when he was the Giants’ closer in early 2014. And he held left-handers last season to a .256 average. This year, he is throwing the changeup less often, and left-handers are batting .432 against him. But he is holding right-handers to a .150 average and has a remarkable 49 strikeouts in 100 at-bats by them.

NEW STAT

FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) looks at outcomes that don’t involve defense – strikeouts, walks, home runs allowed and hit-by-pitches – to try to isolate a pitcher’s individual performance. It assumes a league average on balls put in play by opponents and is expressed in a number like ERA. Romo’s ERA this season is 3.55 – but his FIP is just 1.71, indicating his luck on balls put in play has been very poor. In fact, Romo’s FIP is second-best among qualified major-league relievers, behind only Aroldis Chapman.

Matt Kawahara

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