Wilson has a winning way
LOS ANGELES — Giants fans should feel free to cheer on the resurgent Barry Zito and the club’s meager yet resourceful offense. Just make sure to save some applause for Brian Wilson.
Had Wilson blown his save opportunity Friday night, he would have had a handy excuse. He hadn’t pitched since last Sunday. But he came through with yet another four-out save, his fourth of the season.
The prolonged rest helped, of course. But so did Wilson’s attitude after he yielded James Loney’s leadoff single in the ninth. Two batters later, Wilson coaxed Rafael Furcal’s double-play grounder to end the game.
“I feel like I’m a ground-ball pitcher,” Wilson said. “If a guy gets on, I’ve got a real good chance of getting a double play. If I can just back those thoughts up in my head and think positively — ‘OK, I’m going to end the game with a double play’ — I’m sure it’ll happen.
“It better happen.”
It has happened for Wilson seven times in eight save chances so far. Entering his second year as the Giants’ closer, the right-hander has a better grasp on his self-control and what to expect.
“I think I’m learning to stay relaxed, throw at the same speed and have more accuracy instead of tense up and throw hard,” Wilson said. “I think last year I saw every situation you can imagine. So I have that under my belt now. It’s a good learning experience.”
One factoid I should have included in the final version of my game story but didn’t: The Giants (15-13) are two games above .500 for the first time this year. They failed on four previous occasions to reach that level.
— Chris Haft