The Cove
Deep coverage of the Giants

Sergio Romo's Aggressive Final Pitch

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Sergio Romo's slider is beyond filthy. And he th a lot of them when he closed out the Tigers for in the ninth inning on Sunday to give the Giants their second World Series title in two years.

    But the final pitch of the 2012 MLB season, in which Romo struck out Triple-Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, wasn't a slider. It was a fastball, and not even one that was remotely unhittable. In fact, it was an 89-mph grapefruit that Miggy watched sail by him.

    In a one-run game, against the most dangerous hitter in baseball, this was an absolutely insane pitch. But so crazy it worked -- cruise over to FanGraphs and check out the frequency with which Romo throws his pitches.

    A total of 515 sliders this year to just 195 fastballs. And against right-handed batters, all he does is throw sliders, which is precisely why Cabrera was sitting dead on a slider. It was the pitch that was supposed to come, but it never did and Miggy ended up watching the ball sail into Buster Posey's mitt for the series-clinching strike.

    Many folks will gladly chalk this up to Miggy "choking" or Romo "getting lucky" that the Tigers slugger didn't swing, but that's malarky. This was simply the case of a brilliant tactical ploy that took some aggressive thinking to pull off.

    And when it worked, it worked real well and it resulted in the Giants sweeping the Tigers and winning the World Series.