The Cove
Deep coverage of the Giants

World Series Win Rare for Closers-by-Committee

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Giants have had some good success this season with a closer-by-committee group, but here's the sobering reality about closer-by-committee groups in recent baseball history: it's been a long time since a team with a closer-by-committee approach won a World Series.

    The save first became an official statistic in 1969. This is also, conveniently, the year divisional playoffs began.

    And as Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle notes, since then only four of the World Series champions since that time have had closer-by-committee groups featuring three pitchers. Well, actually, only four teams had three players with eight saves or more across the season.

    Those teams are the 1972, 1973 and 1989 Oakland Athletics and the 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers.

    Maybe it's a West-Coast thing. Or maybe not. But it's pretty clearly a thing from the past -- the trend in recent decades has been to use one primary closer.

    And the 2010 Giants were no exception, with Brian Wilson closing out games left and right in crunch time for Bruce Bochy's club. 2012 is a totally different story, though.

    Santiago Casilla has 24 saves, Sergio Romo has 10 and Javier Lopez has seven now and, as Schulman writes, it's impressive to see the way that Bochy's handled it, with national media (and his players) taking notice.

    "For Bruce to manage the bullpen the way he does, he doesn't get enough credit," Barry Zito told Schulman.

    If Bochy continues to manage the bullpen with the same success throughout a deep playoff run, he'll start getting that credit and then some.