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Lowell Cohn: Perspective necessary as Giants hit hard times

  • San Francisco Giants closer Sergio Romo has 20 saves, but blew back-to-back save opportunities as the Colorado Rockies swept the Giants over the weekend. (LENNY IGNELZI / Associated Press)

This is going to be critical of the Giants. Not too critical. They lead the National League West and have the best record in baseball.

Even so, Giants euphoria had surged recently. I was on television a week ago and we were talking Giants. If they did well on the homestand, just completed, were they in position to wrap up their division by the All Star break?

I almost swallowed my tongue. That's how surprised I was by the topic. This was early June. Lots of ball to play in a long season — the season is long for a reason. So, anyway, the Giants swept the awful Mets. More euphoria. Then the Giants fell on their faces, flopped against the Nationals and Rockies. At home. Now, they've lost six of their last seven games. How does the euphoria feel now?

Look, the Giants are good. They almost surely will win the NL West and go to the playoffs and do well in the postseason with all that starting pitching and their new-found power. We feel all that. But they are not perfect, far from it. And we learned about them in the past week.

What did we learn?

We learned the closer doesn't always close the deal. We're talking about Sergio Romo. As I write this, he's second in the league in saves with 20. That's very good. He also has blown four saves. That's not so good.

Romo is an emotional, excitable man. He cries a lot. He struck out Miguel Cabrera to win the World Series two years ago, Cabrera not even swinging at strike three. That is an image etched on our memories. But Romo blew saves, blew them in the ninth inning Friday and Saturday. Couldn't get the necessary outs. This is troubling for the Giants. Is Romo becoming less effective? Is he in an emotional tailspin?

He didn't pitch on Sunday. The other relievers loused it up, anyway. Call it a group effort. The Rockies, who had trailed all game, scored four runs in the top of the eighth, took advantage of Juan Gutierrez and Javier Lopez. Which makes you wonder about the Giants' bullpen. Santiago Casilla is returning and that should help the Giants' relievers.

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