Jose Mijares had his two big LOOGY moments in two big 8-3 wins. The first was Game Four of the LDS in Cincinnati. The Giants were clinging to a 3-2 lead in the 4th with George Kontos pitching in relief of an ineffective Barry Zito. There were two on with one out and Joey Votto coming to the plate. It was the perfect situation for the burly southpaw and he struck out the number three hitter on five pitches. Tim Lincecum came in after that, the Giants broke the game open, and the rest is history. Mijares got another chance to shine in Game One of the World Series when he was summoned to face Prince Fielder leading off the 9th. The Giants were thumping the Tigers 8-1 at that point, so it lacked the urgency of the previous appearance, but it was still the goddamn World Series and, as we've learned, every out counts. Mijares got the big slugger to hit two foul balls and then ground out weakly to third. Mijares also pitched in all three losses in the LCS.
Javier Lopez got his chance in the crucial Game Three of the LDS. The Giants were locked in a 1-1 elimination game duel in the bottom of the 8th after five strong innings from Ryan Vogelsong and two from Jeremy Affeldt. Santiago Casilla put a man on but got two outs. Jay Bruce strode to the plate and in came the slender sidearm-slinger who coaxed a pop fly on one pitch. He got Bruce again, this time in the clincher, Game Five. The Giants used five guys in relief of Matt Cain and kept the Reds at bay for the final 3-1/3 to advance. It took four pitches the second time and the result was a comebacker. Lopez had three appearances in the LCS but did not pitch at all in the Series. He was on the mound in the 9th inning of Game Seven against the Cardinals but could not quite finish the inning and thus missed his chance to be at the bottom of the dog pile. Sergio Romo got the call and induced the memorable last-out pop fly from Matt Holliday that landed, appropriately, in Marco Scutaro's glove.
The Giants believe in bullpen depth. They had three nasty lefties to get big outs and used them all effectively. They are willing to spend money on them, too--Jeremy Affeldt reportedly just signed a three-year deal worth $18M. Lopez is signed for 2013 as well ($4.25M). Mid-season pickup Mijares is arb-eligible for the first time. I expect he'll be back.