Leading Off

Romo deserves a better finish than this

Baseball fans need guys like Sergio Romo, so they can point their fingers at the end of a tough loss and say, “There goes the bad guy! He’s to blame!”

Yes, the Giants’ former closer, now a setup man, didn’t take long Sunday night to send the St. Louis crowd into a frenzy, serving up a fat pitch for a game-winning home run by Kolten Wong in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Cardinals a 5-4 victory in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series.

Afterward, a crowd of reporters waited for Romo at his dressing stall to ask questions about giving up the home run, losing the game, being the goat. Instead of ducking into the trainer’s room or out the side door and onto the team bus, Romo said, “Bring it.” He welcomed reporters’ questions, just as he will welcome the chance to pitch in another tight game in this tied best-of-seven series.

But there are no guarantees we’ll see Romo again. Giants manager Bruce Bochy may not call Romo’s name again. Bochy, who has made more right moves than wrong in three postseasons as the Giants’ manager, may decide Romo has lost his ability to get batters out in tough situations in tough games. And in the last year of his contract, Romo soon will become a free agent.

But if Romo does leave San Francisco, this is not how he should be remembered.

Romo deserves one more chance to leave the field on his own terms, pumping his fist and looking toward the sky. After playing a big role out of the bullpen the past four seasons, helping the Giants win two World Series rings, Romo deserves a better exit than Sunday night’s departure in St. Louis.

– Victor Contreras


What to watch

NLCS, Giants vs. Cardinals, 1:07 p.m., FS1: Tim Hudson starts for the Giants in Game 3.

Today’s poll

Weekend results

Who will win the World Series?

▪ Giants: 63%

▪ Cardinals: 8%

▪ Orioles: 2%

▪ Royals: 25%

Total votes: 412