The closer-plot thickened today as Sergio Romo closed out the Pirates in only eight pitches to do the job, four of which were spent on the red-hot Andrew McCutchen.

Romo’s appearance in the closer role was not an indictment of Santiago Casilla; rather, Casilla was not available to pitch due to a blister issue.

Casilla has been under a microscope after Thursday’s blown save. As Scott Willis points out, Casilla has suffered ten such meltdowns on the season, tying him for the most among relievers. What’s worse, Casilla’s Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) ranks him 70th out of 94 NL relievers.

The fallout: Fans are clamoring for Casilla’s ousting.

In his place, many are pointing to Romo, with his 0.72 ERA and top-ten FIP, as the ideal replacement. Romo did his best to quell the flames following Friday’s game.

“I don’t need that title,” Romo urged. “Casilla has done a great job for us. Casilla is our closer.”

Meanwhile a separate contingency of fans is calling for Penny to take over.

In only three appearances, Penny has yet to allow a walk or a run, while amassing a FIP of only 1.87. Despite his stellar performance, Penny in the closer’s role is highly unlikely. It seems that he has essentially filled the void left by Guillermo Mota’s absence.

Stolen BASGs 

As Alex Pavlovic reports, the pitching rotation will be altered in the second half of the season. Bochy did not divulge the changes.

Andrew Baggarly reported that Bochy might be inclined platoon Justin Christian with Gregor Blanco.

“The way (Christian) played (on Thursday),” Bochy told reporters before the game, “he kind of forces that issue.”

Christian continued to force the issue Friday, reaching base three times (one hit, two walks).

As Grant Brisbee points out, the best example of Sabean’s genius might be in the George Kontos-Chris Stewart trade.

Kontos’s Stats:

Year ERA BB/9 K/9 AVG FIP
2012 1.50 0.82 10.64 .256 0.98

 

Stewart’s Stats:

Year AB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2012 74 2 12 .270 .295 .311 .606

 

–Speaking of quality trades, Pedro Alvarez’s home run off of Javier Lopez was the first Lopez allowed as a Giant, according to Baggarly. Lopez went 396 batters faced without allowing a homerun. Maybe a better example of Sabean’s genius was the Lopez for Joe Martinez and John Bowker trade. Maybe.

–Finally, did anyone else think of the following video when watching Pablo Sandoval score from second on Hector Sanchez’s ground ball single?